Wipfli LLP announces inaugural Wipfli-RWHC Cost Champion Award winner

April 18, 2012
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Wipfli LLP is pleased to announce the inaugural winner of the 2012 Wipfli-Rural Wisconsin Hospital Cooperative (RWHC) Cost Champion Awards. The first-place award went to the CRNAs at Reedsburg Area Medical Center for reductions in anesthesia gas use and flow rates.

The purpose of the Wipfli-RWHC Cost Champions Awards is to encourage and share implemented cost-saving ideas suggested by a team or individual employed by a RWHC-member hospital.

Bob Parrish, partner in charge of Wipfli’s health care practice noted, “As a firm that has worked with and supported the health care industry for over 82 years, Wipfli is proud to support and promote best practices that can improve health care organizations’ performance and the value they deliver to their patients. The efforts of this year’s winner and other nominees demonstrate that each individual in a health care organization can make a difference in his or her organization’s success.”

For the first-place award, the Reedsburg CRNAs began monitoring the flow rate for the inhalational agents used in the surgical setting and adjusted them during surgical cases to minimize waste. By implementing low-flow anesthesia, they were able to cut usage by one-third with no impact on patient care.

Honorable mention award winners are Kelli McKee, Medical Transcriptionist, and April Laufenberg, MLS (ASCP), Medical Laboratory Scientist, at Prairie du Chien Hospital for elimination of unnecessary paper reports, and Monica Fry, RHIT, Director, Health Information Management, and Jerry Cooper, Director, IT Services, at The Richland Hospital for reductions in the cost of digital record keeping.

Prairie du Chien Hospital’s McKee and Laufenberg formed and led a project team called "Stop Feeding the Shredder.” As part of a Lean Leader Training Series, the team documented and reviewed current process flow in the laboratory and worked to eliminate processes and printing that did not add value.

Fry and Cooper of The Richland Hospital earned an honorable mention as well for their idea and work in downloading records previously stored on an off-site hosted document imaging system to onsite storage at the hospital. On this new site, the records will remain retrievable and require no physical storage space.

Nominations for the Wipfli-RWHC award are collected from RWHC members and CEOs. The award winner is selected by a RWHC panel of health care experts and peers. The first-place winner was awarded $1,500, while the two honorable mentions were each awarded $500.
Wipfli, the sponsor of this award, helps hospitals improve operational performance by leveraging process costing and other business intelligence tools that allow clients to more effectively understand and manage the delivery of care. For more information on Wipfli’s health care services practice, go to www.wipfli.com/healthcare.

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