Efficiency Increases in efficiency always reduce the cost of an activity. Production of almost every healthcare good or service can be made more efficient. Few production processes in healthcare have been examined carefully, and most healthcare workers have little or no training in process improvement. Con- sequently, mistakes, delays, coordination failures, unwise input choices, and excess capacity are far too common. More and more, though, healthcare organizations are responding to financial and quality challenges by trying to increase efficiency.
Even though greater efficiency reduces costs, not everyone is in favor of it. Greater efficiency often means that fewer workers will be needed. Workers whose jobs are in jeopardy may not want to help improve efficiency. (Commitment to a policy of no layoffs is usually one of the core terms of effi- ciency improvements.) Others have limited incentive to participate in efforts to improve efficiency. Physicians must help change clinical processes, yet many physicians have little to gain from these efforts.
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