Monday, November 3, 2014

How a Texas Health System Focuses on What Matters Most

Key terms: healthcare, print services, strategic partnership, Xerox, Methodist Healthcare System

It’s hard to find an industry today under more pressure than healthcare. Between complying with the Affordable Care Act and battling shrinking reimbursements, hospitals and other medical providers have had to redouble efforts to rein in costs and protect revenue streams. But this can be a daunting assignment when hospitals also need to protect the most critical part of their balance sheet: delivering exceptional patient care.
In South Texas, one hospital system has seen success in balancing these priorities by forging smart partnerships that boost operating efficiencies and allow more resources to be channeled into patient care.  “When we think about patients, we think about how we can save money so we can take those dollars and put them into clinical care,” says Geoffrey Crabtree, senior vice president at Methodist Hospital System, the largest provide of health services in San Antonio and the nation’s fifth largest healthcare system. “We’ve got to find new and innovative ways of cutting down our ancillary costs”
One of the best ways Methodist found it could save money was to team with Xerox to consolidate and modernize its vast printing operations. A few years ago, the partners created an ultra-efficient centralized print center that designs and produces everything from compliance forms to patient-educational brochures faster than before – and at less cost. The Xerox-managed center bolstered efficiencies with an on-demand printing model that cut inventory to zero, and by rolling out a simple-to-use online job-submission process that saved hours of labor a week. The center also opened its doors to serve outside businesses, helping pull in extra revenue to pay for operations.
In our recent study [], Mainstay put hard numbers behind these benefits, projecting Methodist’s partnership with Xerox would generate $1.2 million dollars in net benefits in 2014, in large part through avoiding costly charges from less-efficient, outside print vendors. We also documented other valuable benefits achieved through smart process improvements. These included achieving 100% compliance with branding, legal, and compliance requirements; massively reducing paper waste; improving staffing flexibility; and consistently hitting strict job-turnaround targets.

In our view, Methodist’s decision to work with a best-in-breed partner like Xerox clearly paid off – not only by driving cost savings and better customer service, but also by enabling the healthcare system to sharpen its focus on what matters most: patient care. 

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