Hospital Wins For Doing More with Less – Is This a Good Thing?

Newton Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital serving the community of Newton, New Jersey. In June 2010, the hospital received a Voluntary Hospital Association (VHA) Leadership Award for the fourth time in the last five years. This year's award was the VHA Leadership Award for Supply Chain Management Excellence, recognizing the hospital's efforts to cut costs in operations. But are awards like this a good thing for patients?

What is the VHA?

Newton Memorial is part of a network of health care organizations that establish best-practice standards that are shared with its group members. The network is known as the Voluntary Hospital Association. There are approximately 1400 community hospitals and 28,000 non-acute health care organizations that are a part of VHA. Each year the VHA awards its highest achieving members in the areas of operational efficiency and clinical excellence.

Automation and Out-Sourcing Medical Treatment

Rather than investing in more physicians, nurses and staff, hospitals have cut operations costs by investing in technologies, such as medical records management systems, and by out-sourcing certain medical treatments to retail stores to set up specialty clinics or urgent care clinics. While these methods certainly have advantages and cut costs, it remains to be seen whether they are equally effective at providing quality medical care.

Regardless of operational efficiency, at some point, patients must speak with a trained medical professional for evaluation and treatment. Hospitals should also invest in the people that treat patients everyday and in developing policies and protocols for safe and effective treatment to address recurring problems in hospitals such as hospital-acquired infections, prescription over- and under-dosing and other preventable medical errors.

If you have been injured or harmed at a hospital during your medical stay, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your rights.

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Hospital wins award for operational excellence

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