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A survey of the major sources of waste in health care units of a teaching hospital

Grant number: 08/01338-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2008 - September 30, 2009
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nursing - Public Health Nursing
Principal researcher:Valeria Castilho
Grantee:Valeria Castilho
Home Institution: Hospital Universitário (HU). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


All countries have shared one common problem, galloping costs in the health area due to limited budgets or resources. Health care is not free, and, whatever the financial sources, public or private, they absorb resources in the form of taxes, insurance, or private costs, and these resources are unlimited. Thus, the elevation of costs has been the object of attention for hospital administrators, health care professionals, and also of the sources that pay for health care, including the Single Health System (SHS), or the Supplementary System, through companies that operated plans and medical insurance. Due to these problems, administrators have been forced to look at and control their costs more carefully, under the serious risk of becoming in deficit and unfeasible. Therefore, the concerns of health administrators has turned to evaluation and controlling hospital costs as well as to measures for the restriction of costs, mainly focused on waste, understood as an extra financial expense that increases normal costs of products and services without adding any type of improvement in the service to the client. The waste in the health area worsens the difficulties that already exist due to the scarcity of resources. Due to the importance of this theme to health care management, and the scarcity of studies about the causes of waste within hospital organizations, this study was developed with the aim to learn about the opinion of nursing and medical team members working in health care units of a teaching hospital about the existence of different wastes in their work unit. Another aim was to survey their causes and what actions the participants consider necessary to eliminate them. The purpose of this study was to health the institution, place of study, to identify, with the operational team, the sources of waste, and, thus, provide the supporting information to plan actions that would minimize that waste. Another purpose is to estimate the costs of the main sources of waste pointed our in the studied units, with a view to provide instruments for the nursing and medical teams so they can work to correct these sources. Finally, the study also aimed to contribute with the verticalization of the knowledge on hospital costs. Hence, two objectives were formulated: to survey the different types of waste, its causes, and suggestions to eliminate them, according to the opinion of the medical and nursing tams at the health care units, and estimate the costs of the main sources of waste reported at the studied units. This is an exploratory, descriptive study using a quantitative approach. The study location was a University Hospital in the University of São Paulo. It is a general tertiary level hospital, located in the city of São Paulo. The studied health care units in this research are: pediatrics, group hospitalization, nursery, medical clinic, and surgical clinic. The study population consisted of 361 professionals. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
VALÉRIA CASTILHO; LILIANA CRISTINA DE CASTRO; ANDRÉA TAMANCOLDI COUTO; FLÁVIA DE OLIVEIRA MOTTA MAIA; NAIR YOKO SASAKI; FELICÍA HIROMI NOMURA; ANTONIO FERNANDES COSTA LIMA; VERA LÚCIA MIRA; PAULA MANZATTI LOYOLLA. Levantamento das principais fontes de desperdício de unidades assistenciais de um hospital universitário. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP, v. 45, p. 1613-1620, . (08/01338-7)

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