To combat a steep revenue drop at the Women and Infant’s Hospital, CEO Dr. Trevor Casein has launched a new baby-unfriendly initiative to reduce length of hospital stay (LOS). Babies have been fingered as the profit-losing culprits.
“These little leeches are bleeding us dry,” explains Casein. “In the current model, babies latch onto their mother’s breast initially, becoming sleepy and unmotivated for the following 12 hours. We aren’t paying for these babies to sleep. They poop less, get jaundiced and sometimes even end up needing an extra day in the hospital for phototherapy.”
“Babies are not pulling their weight,” adds Patty, a nurse administrator. “In fact, they’re losing it. In our fast-paced business climate, this is not acceptable.”
She goes on, “We really need these babies to bring their A game to the delivery room and to refine their latch technique and milk removal skills much earlier in their stay. Cephalohematomas and fractured clavicles are no excuse to breastfeed poorly. Neither are delivery complications.”
Casein adds, “Just because Mom needs 4 pints of blood for a hemorrhage or ICU monitoring for altered mental status doesn’t mean a baby should hang around to be fed, snuggled, fussed over or have his diaper changed. He needs to man up and go home.”
“Incidentally, we’re very breast-feeding friendly here. No one’s saying a mom has to bottle feed her baby. But, let’s say he’s jaundiced and under the lights. Mom’s insurance company won’t pay for her to stay past 6:30 this evening and there’s Similac in the cupboard. If a baby knows his mommy is leaving the hospital with or without him, he may be more motivated to do the right thing. And that is to freaking eat.”
“But they’re so cute!,” protests Bunny, a nursing student 2.5 hours into her practical.
“Soft skills such as sucking on a hand or yawning adorably, while important, do not directly improve revenue. Reducing LOS does,” corrects Bill Bucks, the hospital’s finance manager.
In the quest to reduce LOS, the hospital’s clinical committee is considering other interventions, like an in-house wet nurse 24/7, gavage feedings and stat Similac consults.
Casein asks pediatric intern Doug Murphy, ”Dr. Murphy, when does discharge planning begin?”
“On the day of admission, sir!” replies Murphy.
“That’s right it does!” exclaims Casein. “That’s my boy!”