Notes on cost savings from around the system

In 2011, a Value Analysis program was designed to support the critical work of reducing costs while enhancing quality. Throughout Aurora, teams worked on multiple initiatives that optimized supply chain and clinical expertise in order to achieve operational excellence. All of the teams function with a single, non-negotiable principal: Operational excellence is not just about saving money. It's not just about improving quality either. It's about both.

From non-clinical areas like food service to clinical departments like interventional radiology, the 2011 results of our value analysis work are a perfect illustration of purpose coming to life at Aurora. Below are just a few examples.

Simple solutions with great results

Our food service value analysis team was faced with a challenge. There were too many local food service teams throughout Aurora working with multiple vendors. Because of this, it was difficult to achieve consistency in our ordering processes and pricing.

The team decided to take a system approach that could identify savings more quickly and help caregivers look for efficiencies. They came up with a variety of solutions, including the consolidation and standardization of vendors. Other simplifications, such as reducing the number of container sizes and standardizing cutlery across the system, had immediate cost impact.

Clinical improvements that reduce costs

The Cath/Interventional Radiology Work Group was challenged with lowering costs in a clinical setting without lowering quality. Their solutions needed to be data driven and include the involvement of physicians, nurses and other clinical caregivers in all decisions. By breaking down their work into manageable steps and respectfully gathering input from key stakeholders along the way, they not only found costs savings solutions, but created a teamwork template that now is being used across the system.

Teams that make a difference

Responsibly managing resources is one of our core values. Making cost savings part of our ongoing daily practices had significant impact in 2011.

A 2011 value analysis initiative drove costs-savings projects through the system, including clinical laboratory, pharmacy, non-clinical support areas, patient care products, cardiology/radiology and surgical services. Working together in new ways has helped us better identify and act on opportunities throughout Aurora. The work groups identified millions in savings last year, and their work continues.