And now, from our Department of Modern Health Care, here is:

Subject: In the Age of Cost Cutting...

Source:From: (Milda G. Simaitis)

The following "memo" was received via FAX in our Medical Records Department

from a Spokane hospital...


MEMO TO: All Hospital Staff

FROM: Administration/Groundskeeper

SUBJECT: New Cost Cutting Measures


Effective January 1 this hospital will no longer provide security. Each

charge nurse will be issued a .38 caliber revolver and 12 rounds of

ammunition. An additional 12 rounds will be stored in the pharmacy. In

addition to routine nursing duties, Charge Nurses will rotate the patrolling

of the hospital grounds. A bicycle and helmet will be provided for

patrolling the park areas. In light of the similarity of monitoring

equipment, ICU will now take over the security surveillance duties. The

unit secretary will be responsible for watching cardio and security monitors

as well as continuing previous secretarial duties.


Food service will be discontinued. Patients wishing to be fed will need to

let their families now to bring something, or may make arrangements with

Subway, Domino's, etc., before meal time. Coin-operated telephones will be

available in the patient rooms for this purpose as well as for other calls

the patient may wish to make.


Housekeeping and physical therapy are being combined. Mops will be issued

to those patients who are ambulatory, thus providing range-of-motion

exercise as well as a clean environment. Familiar and ambulatory patients

may also sign up to clean the room of non-ambulatory patients for special

discounts for their final bill. Time cards will be provided.


As you can see on the "FROM" line above, administration is assuming grounds

keeping duties. If an administrator cannot be reached by calling his/her

office it is suggested that you walk outside and listen for the sound of a

lawn mower, weed whacker, etc.


Engineering is being eliminated. The hospital has subscribed to the

TIME-LIFE "How to..." series of maintenance books. These books can be

checked out from administration, and a toolbox will be standard equipment on

all nursing units. We will be receiving the series at a rate of one volume

every other month. We already have the volume on Basic Wiring, but if a

non-electrical problem occurs, please try to handle it as best as you can

until the appropriate volume arrives.


Cutbacks in the phlebotomy staff will be accommodated by only performing

blood-related lab tests on patients who are already bleeding.


Physicians will be informed that they may order no more the two x-rays per

patient stay. This is due to the turnaround time required by Eckerd's photo

lab. Two prints will be provided for the price of one, and physicians are

being advised to clip coupons from the Sunday paper if they want extra sets.

Eckerd's will also honor competitors' coupons for one-hour processing in the

emergency situations, so if you come across any coupons, please clip them

and send them to the ER.


In light of the extremely hot summer temperature the electric company has

been asked to install individual meters in each patient room, office, etc.,

so that the electrical consumption can be monitored and appropriately

billed. Fans will be available for sale or lease in the hospital gift shop.


In addition to the current recycling programs, a bin for the collection of

unused fruit and bread will soon be provided on each floor. Families,

patients, and the few remaining employees are encouraged to contribute

discarded produce. The resulting moldy compost will be utilized by the

pharmacy for nocosomial production of antibiotics. These antibiotics will

also be available for purchase through the hospital pharmacy and will,

coincidentally, soon be the only antibiotics listed on the HMOs' formulary.




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