March 21, 2012
Authored by Caryn Humphrey, Product Manager at Stryker Sustainability Solutions
A tough economy means that some hospitals and health networks across the nation are faced with difficult choices. While recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates healthcare jobs are recovering slowly, many hospitals are still engaged in cost cutting measures, which include reducing the number of skilled workers, holding back on technology upgrades, or even shutting down entirely. In fact, some studies reveal that the most aggressive cost cutting hospitals are also the largest, with 500 beds or more. Unfortunately, the most significant losses are borne by the local communities where these medical facilities reside. Access to healthcare and jobs is typically impacted adversely.
…Shrinking reimbursements, increasing competition, and sharply rising costs are undoubtedly some of the factors that have led to healthcare’s predicament today. There’s no silver bullet that will solve a healthcare organization’s economic woes, but reprocessing single-use medical devices (SUDs) is a proven strategy that reduces some of the financial burdens –while preserving patient care quality and reducing impact on the environment. In a March 2012 article in Becker’s ASC Review, a surgery center administrator stated, “Cost containment is how we are able to thrive and expand as an out-of-network-only center.” The administrator went on to discuss reprocessing SUDs as one of her surgery center’s key survival strategies, allowing savings of up to 50% per item.