Figuring out how to cut costs and not jobs is on everyone’s mind, and in our September issue the article Cautious Optimism shares some great best practices on how to whittle down expenses while saving jobs. Here’s some of what Steve Kehrberg, VP, supply chain/clinical engineering at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), Tacoma, Wash, shared.

Kehrberg has employed a multipronged strategy across CHI’s 70 hospitals, 22 states, and more than 350 clinical engineering staff members. A repair depot for some equipment, including intermittent suction units, IV pumps, endoscopy units, and other smaller items, has helped reduce expenses when spread out and employed systemwide. With some small critical access hospitals using only one biomed, and others employing 18 in-house clinical engineering folks, Kehrberg has also transferred support from larger shops to smaller ones to avoid using more costly service providers.

He said: “We have also looked into removing some of the service components from some of the contracts. For example, on some of the flat plate detectors for digital cath labs, we have removed OEM detector coverage from the service contracts. And we are covering them in a risk pool with our internal insurance company. Basically, we are self-insuring the glassware for the detectors on the cath labs, and that has been successful for us.”

We’d like to know what strategies you’ve used. All are welcome to comment on the blog so share your tips and help other departments thrive.

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