Advice around obtaining figures for cost savings
There are currently over 250 impact case studies on the Knowledge for Healthcare listing. Many of these mention savings in terms of clinical and managerial staff time, and financial savings. Very few of these, however, provide actual figures in terms of financial savings.
Such figures are, however, invaluable in adding to the weight of the impact case when used for national advocacy purposes. It was decided to investigate the services who had successfully obtained financial figures for their case studies to determine whether there are any useful lessons or advice which can be shared for others trying to replicate their success.
Eight services were identifies as having submitted one or more case studies providing details of cost savings achieved. These services were approached for details of any techniques, learning, and/or advice for colleagues wishing to replicate the success.
Seven services responded to this enquiry:
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Michael Reid)
- Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (Ben Skinner)
- Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (Sarah Lewis)
- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Uma Devalapalli)
- Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Sarah Gardner)
- George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust (Stephen Ayre)
- Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust (Alex Williams)
Their notes, advice and reflections have been collated into a short report.
Key points from the above:
- Those who have received services from the library are often keen to help. Maximise this opportunity if you can.
- Involvement with projects supported by a search from the start can provide greater insights into the impact of the work. Make the most of such involvement.
- Using and analysing a questionnaire can provide signposts to those cases worthy of further investigation.
- Allow time for financial savings to have been realised before following up
- Use the personal approach where possible and interview colleagues to allow for focused probing with regard to details of financial savings.
- Be flexible with the questions you ask and tailor the interview to the situation for best results. This includes the language chosen.
While recognising that collecting data on financial savings can often be complex and challenging, we would encourage you to make use of the advice and learning included in the report when tackling impact in your own organisation.
You may also be interested to watch out for the latest paper on the NHS Clinical Librarianship study which is due to be published soon.