Cefoxitin has been the prophylactic antibiotic of choice for appendectomy and colorectal surgery at this institution. Recent information suggests that cefazolin and metronidazole given as a single intravenous preparation could be a cost-effective alternative to cefoxitin or cefotetan for surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis of uncomplicated appendectomies. This study was conducted to determine the efficacy, toxicity, and cost of the current antibiotic regimens used for prophylaxis of uncomplicated appendectomies, to evaluate the efficacy, toxicity and cost of the cefazolin plus metronidazole combination in uncomplicated appendectomies, and to facilitate a cooperative working relationship between the Departments of Pharmacy and General Surgery. Although the numbers involved were small, this study suggests that the cefazolin/metronidazole combination is cost-effective. It is suggested that research is warranted in evaluating combinations such as this as cost-effective alternatives to current therapy.
All three cost-saving initiatives--the creation of a one-page application form to streamline the rehabilitation application process, the use of the resource specialist to assist with applications, and the development of an information package on cardiac rehabilitation--reflect a process whereby a creative idea, generating planning, activities, and follow-up resulted in a measurable effective change in practice. This process truly translated strategy into action (Kaplan, 1996) and is vital to the current rethinking in health care of how best to do our work (Coan, 1994). Because of this process, social workers in the cardiovascular surgical division of the cardiac program are better equipped to respond to the psychosocial needs of a growing cardiac population in a fiscally restrained environment.
This article examines a specific management reform at three hospitals in a Danish county. Management reform at the hospital level implies a decentralization of responsibility and power to the departmental level. Along with increased responsibility and power, departments get the message: keep your budgets and keep your output level. This preliminary analysis indicates that departmental budgets can be a way of containing costs in clinical departments. Non-staff expenditures especially are subjected to reductions. The system still seems to 'favour' doctors and nurses, but less than in a system with traditional budgetary institutions. The behaviour of the top-management teams shows that the output constraint is not seriously meant. Departments are allowed to reduce capacity, with declining output, with the knowledge of the top-management team. The declining output makes it easier to departments ceteris paribus to keep within their budgets. And that makes it easier for the top-management team to keep the overall hospital budget. The obligation to keep the overall hospital budget is thus an important criterion of success in the eyes of the political masters of hospitals.
Management of supplies within the operating room (OR) has considerable implications for decreasing healthcare costs while maintaining high-quality patient care. This area of healthcare therefore requires more monitoring by end-users including OR management, physicians, and nursing staff. This article is based on understanding supply chain management in the OR setting. Information provided throughout the article can be applied to small or large health care centers. It defines supply chain management and contains a brief overview of supply chain processes. It reviews the benefits of following these processes. The article also includes recommendations for improving the supply chain in the OR.
Surgery makes many demands of both hospitals and patients. For the hospital, there are many procedural aspects: admission, health assessment, and patient education; the actual operation; and the post-surgical recovery period, a time when patients are susceptible to complications and nosocomial infections. For the patient, surgery means physical pain and emotional anxiety. A pre-operative assessment clinic (POAC), however, can assist both hospital and patients by streamlining their admission, assessment, and education, by decreasing the time they spend in the hospital recovering from surgery, and by easing their anxiety. In this article, the authors describe a study of a POAC at a Canadian hospital.
The planning, establishment and operation of a bone marrow transplant (B.M.T.) satellite pharmacy in a 1100-bed teaching hospital are described. The B.M.T. satellite pharmacy was established because of the specialized pharmaceutical care needs of this patient population with a high risk for drug-related problems. The satellite pharmacy, which is located within a 19-bed Oncology Unit, provides integrated clinical-distributive services (unit-dose, IV-admixture system) to all B.M.T. patients. The satellite is open 10.5 hours per day, seven days per week. Staff consists of three full-time equivalent (F.T.E.) staff pharmacists, a 0.5 F.T.E. technician, and one F.T.E. clinical pharmacist. Staff pharmacists rotate between provision of B.M.T. pharmacy services, and provision of pharmacy services for the provincial Home Parenteral Nutrition program. The pharmacists are responsible for all aspects of drug distribution and clinical services for B.M.T. patients. Additional drug distribution and clinical services are provided to other Oncology Unit patients. The establishment of a satellite pharmacy has provided unique opportunities for pharmaceutical care of the B.M.T. patient.
An experimental version of a multimedia medical communication system called IRIS (Integrated Radiological Information System) operated between the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Radiological Sciences at the Ottawa Civic Hospital for 7 weeks during April and May 1989. IRIS is being developed to enhance communication between clinicians and radiology consultants to improve diagnosis and reporting. IRIS supports the capture and distribution of digitized x-ray images and voice reports in the form of "electronic" patient folders that can be accessed at physician workstations throughout the hospital. It also supports on-line consultation between the radiologist and clinician through synchronized workstation operation. Each workstation has 1) a high resolution image screen to display documents and x-ray images; 2) a control screen to access patient folders; 3) a hands-free telephone to dictate, play back reports, and enable realtime consultation between physicians. From an emergency physician's (EP) perspective, such an involved system must allow the viewing and manipulation of images in order to reach diagnostic conclusions and support efficient interchange between the clinician and the consultant radiologist, yet be easy to learn and use without disruption of clinical services. After a briefing session, the trial took place and analogue and digital images were compared. An observer-assistant recorded how EPs used the system and was available to assist the EP. After the trial, six EPs participated in an extensive debriefing interview in order to evaluate the system. Overall, the system was found to be easy to learn and to use, and there was a clear benefit to the full consultation report and the ability to directly consult with the radiologist located at a remote station.