Wipfli LLP announces 2013 Wipfli-RWHC Cost Champion Award winner

April 8, 2013
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Wipfli LLP is pleased to announce the winner of the 2013 Wipfli-Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) Cost Champion Awards. The first-place award went to Boscobel Area Health Care for implementing changes in their process for scheduling nursing time to reduce unnecessary overtime payments.

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.
Steve Thompson, partner in charge of Wipfli’s health care practice noted, “As a firm that is committed to working with health care organizations to streamline their processes, reduce costs and improve profitability, Wipfli is proud to support and promote best practices that can improve performance and the value that organizations deliver to their patients. The accomplishments of this year’s winner and other nominees demonstrate how everyone can make a difference in an organization’s success.”
For the first-place award, the nursing staff of Boscobel Area Health Care determined that the current process for scheduling nursing time resulted in an unnecessary amount of overtime payments to staff. The staff agreed to fair changes in the scheduling process that resulted in reduced overtime payments. The cost savings to the facility for the eight months of 2012 impacted by this change was approximately $33,000.
Honorable mention award winners are the public relations department at Stoughton Hospital Association for consolidating multiple newsletters into one quarterly in-house publication, and Jim Summwalt, Power Plant Operator at The Richland Hospital, for revising the procedures in place for maintaining the hospital’s boiler system.
The public relations department reviewed their three newsletters that were scheduled to be produced twice a year. They decided to consolidate the three newsletters into one quarterly in-house publication with fewer lengthy articles, including more photos, testimonials, health and community education topics. These changes resulted in annual savings of over $25,000.
Summwault of The Richland Hospital earned an honorable mention as well for reviewing the procedures followed to maintain the hospital’s boiler system that included alternating use between two boilers where the boiler not in use was shut down. These procedures were changed to monitor chemical levels daily and to alternate boiler use every eight hours without shutting one down. The changes resulted in decreased pipe, boiler, and connection repairs and a decrease in metal fatigue for the boilers themselves that will add at least five years to the life of a $200,000 boiler. These changes have resulted in annual savings of approximately $18,000.
Nominations for the Wipfli-RWHC award are collected from RWHC members’ chief executive officers. 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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