When grateful patients in Central Maine return home from St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston with a successful surgical outcome, the thank you cards they pen aren’t to the finance department. But maybe they should be. The mission of the 233-bed community hospital, part of Covenant Health, is to provide healing and care for everyone, including the vulnerable populations who are suffering the most. “Those values are ingrained into the culture of everyone here, not just the clinical staff,” says Perioperative Nurse Director Janice Nichols, MSN, RN, CNML. “Everyone is always on the lookout to reduce costs in any way possible, because we realize that is what’s needed to fulfill our mission to care for the poor.”
A series of cost-saving initiatives, some of them bottom-up ideas that originated with frontline staff, is expected to produce a total annualized savings at St. Mary’s and two nearby affiliated hospitals of more than $622,000 this year. Those initiatives, and those savings, have earned St. Mary’s the 2022 OR Excellence Award for Financial Management.