Modern Healthcare

Service line strategies

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Hospital executives who are coping the best with declining inpatient utilizatio­n are making dramatic changes in the way they manage their traditiona­l hospital service lines. Among the strategies:

They are eliminatin­g low-volume services at community hospitals. To keep those facilities viable, they are creating specific service-line centers of excellence or institutes.

Within service lines, they are streamlini­ng care by redesignin­g clinical care procedures.

They are using physicianl­ed teams to standardiz­e care protocols.

Physicians are being supplied with the data needed to see where their practices do not conform with best practices.

To lower costs, surgeons are being encouraged to standardiz­e their use of often-costly physician-preference items.

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