John G. Malcolm
Long before I was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, which oversees the entire Grady Health System (hereinafter referred to as Grady), I had heard and read, in essence, that Grady hemorrhages money, that it was inefficiently run and mismanaged, and that it was a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. However, in a recently-conducted Strategic Opportunity Assessment, APM Management Consultants, an internationally-recognized health care consulting firm, found that Grady is relatively efficient on a cost per ad- justed discharge basis compared to national and regional institutions and very efficient from a clinical utilization perspective. In other words, APM found that the opportunity to reduce the length of stay of the average patient is surprisingly low for an insti- tution of Gradys size and case complexity. APM also concluded that Gradys cost per adjusted discharge, a benchmark used to assess overall performance by ex- amining the cost of treating each patient admission, was lower than both the local and national averages of other prominent public and private health care providers.