Working for a contract company for almost 18 years, there has always been a constant push to increase incentives, purchasing, or scope of the contract for the services we provided. The focus was on improving the bottom line, when it should have been more patient-focused. Yes, having a contract company manage your support services departments is very attractive. The contractor provides a trained manager(s) and all the tools necessary to operate your departments. The contractor company also has vendor purchasing agreements that provide cheaper pricing for items purchased on your behalf. They include tools for patient satisfaction and retail tools to serve your employees. But it is important to keep them accountable and keep the hospitals best interest as a focus.
In today’s world where the healthcare debate is always a hot topic and the cost of healthcare increasing, hospitals need to find ways to reduce their costs without a negative impact to patient satisfaction. In a partnership with Soriant Solutions, you will see that we advocate for the client; often renegotiating vendor contracts or streamlining departments that are self-op. One key element investigated is the management fee – the price to manage the business by the vendor. The fee should only change if the scope of service changes. When you hire a contractor, you expect them to perform at a very high level, even at a higher level than your other hospital departments. Soriant takes a hard look at the total charges, and compares it to like size hospitals in your geographic area to insure it is priced fairly. A good rule of thumb is that any contract over 4 years old should be assessed for savings potential. Our team often find 8-12% savings in older contracts.
Purchasing is also key. The service departments in a Healthcare facility are departments that can contribute to the Hospitals bottom-line. Soriant looks at purchases for the support service (Food, EVS, Linen, etc.) and uncovers the best opportunity to maximize the department’s purchasing. Did you know that contractors can leverage their purchasing power from each account they manage nationally? The hospital aligns themselves with a GPO for all their departments from surgical supplies to food. Often, they have a hard time matching the price vendors can get. Not just from the main broad lane vendor (Sysco, US Foods), but this is also true for local dairy or bread companies as well. In either case, Soriant can help maximize the purchasing so the overall cost to the hospital is as low as possible.
At Soriant, we believe the tools used by a contractor or self op department should focus on increasing patient satisfaction. Using tools that put the patient at the center of everything that they do. When the patient is satisfied that they are truly being well served from all areas of the hospital, this will ensure that when needed, they will return to your hospital. Strong services that impact patient satisfaction include room service and an updated, inviting retail area. These areas serve as a well-deserved oasis for both patients and their visitors to relax in.
All too often in hospitals across the country, the support services are not up to date and they need to be continually assessed to assure they are the best they can be. The hesitation often lies in the expected added workload to make a change. Soriant comes in, manages the “heavy lifting”, and ensures that the hospital remains patient-focused and operates effectively.