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VPMA Voice

Last Monday, we had the second Open Forum for all those who work or volunteer with UI Health Care. Many of you who came completed a survey, asking for feedback about content and other aspects of the Forum. The surveys will be used to improve the way we do Forums in the future.

It is clear that, while many participants felt last week’s Forum was valuable, there was also a sizable group that felt we had not fully met their expectations. Most of this feedback was related to not providing additional financial information and not responding to some of the questions that had been e-mailed in advance.

In response to this feedback, we are posting several of the questions on The Point. Additional financial information will be available shortly, after it is more thoroughly reviewed. In general, October was a stronger month with respect to patient visits and admissions, but it appears that our expenses did not decline quite as much as we anticipated.

Again, we are working hard to assure that patient safety and quality remain at the forefront of decision-making related to expense management. Your comments, suggestions, and ideas are welcome at vpma@uiowa.edu.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Thank you for your suggestions

We have had a wonderful response to our request for your ideas to reduce expenses and/or identify growth at our e-mail vpma@uiowa.edu. We have received more than 100 suggestions, and as promised, I want to share with you some of those in this and upcoming issues of VMPA Voice. All of your suggestions are being evaluated for possible action by the managers and department heads of the appropriate areas, and we will share progress on these efforts through a number of channels, including e-mails, this newsletter, The Point, and open forums.

We received several suggestions about doing an energy audit to determine ways that we can reduce consumption of electricity and heating or cooling. This is something we will do. In the meantime, several people sent in suggestions of things we should be doing right now to conserve our utilities costs, including:

Turn off the lights when not needed (lights are left on in bath-rooms in many areas, not public restrooms-but admin areas, etc.)
Staff should be reminded on a regular basis to turn off their computers, monitors, and printers when they leave for the day, certainly over the weekend
Have the thermostats set to a certain temperature. There are employees that turn the thermostats up to 75 degrees. Tell employees that this is not allowed and to wear more clothing.

Other suggestions being evaluated include:

A discharge center or lounge to help reduce length of stay
More online ordering to reduce paper
Various staffing and scheduling suggestions
Better control of “scrubs”

A note of congratulations…

UI Hospitals and Clinics has been identified as a top performer in the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) 2008 Supply Chain Performance Excellence Collaborative. This honor allows us to compete to be named one of the top three performers at the 2008 UHC Performance Excellence Forum in March 2009.

This is a publication of UI Health Care