How can major trauma units be run more efficiently and cost-effectively?
Should cost-efficiency savings even come into the equation in life or death situations?
Trauma stations at a hospital are very important. If treated with negligence or oversight, even bureaucracy it can cost someone their life. This, however, should never be the case. As a hospital is put in place, and staffed with trained lifesavers, saving a life should come before anything else. If the value for human life is out first, then that means the people who are responsible and accountable for the trauma unit will always put people first. Putting people first means being efficient in every sense.
There are procedures put in place on how to best respond to trauma patients as fast as humanly possible to save their lives. This means following a drill. Similar to the way firefighters respond. It also means that the best people are on sight and on call whenever they are needed. This also means that there is a special communication policy that is followed to deal with trauma patients, and that does not mean settling the bill first before admission for inpatient.
Such behavior is ludicrous because a critical patient can die while waiting for a relative to make the deposit or access to their funds are allocated and so forth. Accidents happen at any time on any given day, and this also includes Sunday. Most financial institutions are closed on a Sunday and if a hefty amount is needed to sort the bill, some of these procedures need to take place in the presence of a bank manager or for next of kin of the account to appear in person.
Keeping that in mind, money should never come before a life. The vocational training of doctors and nurses does not permit that it should be in that order. Cost efficiency should not into the equation for life and death. Unless new medical equipment can be purchased to make treatment better and cost-effective for both staff and patients. To help organize for a more efficient trauma unit a team leader(s) should be put in place.
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For example, the head trauma surgeon can be accountable for the way the trauma unit is being run. He can also delegate duties and clear other doctors and nurses he deems necessary to attend to the most critical patients. He can also train the main trauma team, on how to respond in cases of emergency to save time and make the process streamlined and efficient.
With help from other doctors, he can assemble a team, that already has the know-how and experience with dealing with trauma to respond quickly and be able to improvise when needed. Such doctors tend to be military and disaster relief doctors who have spent time in the field dealing with victims of traumatic events.
This should always be the policy. If it has not been revised, the hospital policy needs to take on a more human approach in special cases to recognize the profitability is saving the lives of needy patients, before securing the cheque.
The best equipment should be on standby. The most effective should be in this unit to attend to those who need it most. Not that it is never in use unless it is a trauma case. No. In fact, it should be in use for all the patients who need it dearly, but when a fast response is needed, having it close by saves time and they get first priority. This all serves up as part of being efficient.
Atraumatic unit should look at cost, yes. However, it can be done second. After treatment has been delivered and the patients are in stable conditions. In-house accountants and insurance dealers can look into the finances of the victims to establish a payment channel, so that the hospitals are able to continue running, to serve others.