NHS Trusts Must Make Bigger Savings

Foundation trusts regulator Monitor has warned hospitals that they will need to make up to 75 per cent greater efficiency savings than originally planned due to higher inflation and tougher financial penalties incurred for incidents such as emergency re-admissions following surgery.

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson had previously told hospitals that they needed to find 4 per cent savings each year for the next five years in order to maintain services, taking into account the rising costs of medical treatments, increased demand and the smaller rises in NHS budget.

Monitor has now told foundation trust applicants that they must find savings in the region of 6-7 per cent in order to achieve foundation trust status by 2014. The Department of Health said Monitor’s assessments are challenging but “wants all hospitals to be able to meet Monitor’s standards and show that they can provide sustainable, high quality and efficient services for their patients.”

In order to achieve these savings, clinicians and managers need to have a solution in place that enables them to track and remove inefficiencies and areas of waste.

Ardentia’s Activity Flow Analytics (AFA) allows finance managers to access information on data such as outpatient attendance, trends, patient location and treatment requirements. With this information readily available, Trusts are in a better position to find ways of saving money efficiently; ensuring resources are being used effectively whilst delivering high standards of care.

You can read the full article on Healthcare Today here

Deploying PLC at Southampton

E-Health Insider has published the case study about Southampton University Hospitals Trust’s deployment of Ardentia’s Patient Level Costing (PLC) solution.

Based on an interview with the Trust’s finance manager Fiona Boyle, the case study shows how the Trust has moved from static service line reports to in-depth patient-level costing using an Ardentia solution.

The Trust’s 7,500 staff treat more than 115,000 inpatients and day patients every year, including 40,000 emergency admissions. They see 350,000 people at outpatient appointments, and deal with around 85,000 cases in the emergency department.  Providing these services costs more than £800,000 every day, and therefore robust financial management is essential to the effective running of the Trust.

With PLC deployed, the Trust’s clinicians and finance staff can drill down further to analyse data and get the specific information needed to help drive change, deliver improvements and generate savings.

Ardentia’s solution has also enabled staff to compare reference costs with actual costs of treatment at a patient level, helping them meet the requirements of NHS Monitor.

Click here to read the full case study on EHI.

Dudley Hospitals Trust Faces £40m Budget Cut

An article on the Express & Star has reported how the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust needs to make further savings of £40m by 2014, despite having already clawed back £10m of this year’s budget.

These cost-saving exercises are expected to continue for the next three years due to Government cuts.

In order to generate savings, the Trust is currently identifying and reviewing areas where spending could be reduced. These include a general review of budgets, procurement savings and working more efficiently to reduce unnecessary time spent in hospital.

The Trust is also looking at ways to reduce the number of missed patient appointments. According to statistics, for every seven appointments attended by patients in their 20s, one fails to turn up.

With the Trust having to generate significant savings by 2014, clinicians and managers need to be able to drive out inefficiencies and areas of waste – and considering the cost of high Did Not Attend (DNA) rates, it’s important for all Trusts to have a solution to help eradicate this problem.

By implementing a solution such as Ardentia’s Activity Flow Analytics (AFA), finance managers can access information on outpatient attendance, identifying trends, as well as patient location and treatment requirements. Armed with this data, Trusts are in a better position to find ways to tackle this problem and ensure resources are being used effectively to deliver a high-quality service.