3.30.2009

Boston Hospital Saves Jobs, But Isn’t Improving

Paul Levy, the chief executive of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston is winning praise – from employees and some people outside the hospital – for finding ways to lay off only 150 people, rather than 600 as was originally planned. An article in The Boston Globe explains how.


The steps he is proposing, which would save $16 million, include suspending the employer match for retirement plans, withholding some raises and rolling back executive increases, and eliminating cash payments for surplus earned time.

Job openings will not be filled and less-busy areas will have to reduce their headcount, Levy's plan also suggested. The employee barbecue will go, saving $50,000, as will reimbursement for cellphones and BlackBerrys, for an estimated $100,000, and an early retirement offer is being explored.


The article (by Elizabeth Cooney) quotes some employees as supporting the actions. They’re not really happy, but relieved more jobs weren’t eliminated.

If you have some understanding of lean operations, you may already realize that I am writing about this because of what is missing from the list of Levy’s actions. There is no mention of finding ways to save money by operating more efficiently and eliminating waste through improvement of the hospital’s processes.

Would someone like to ring Mr. Levy with a wake-up call?

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