Use of Railroads for Freight Transportation | transportation

Railroads may not seem like the most cutting edge and modern way of transporting freight, but they remain one of the most economical, safe, and effective ones. Businesses considering means of transportation should consider railway transport as a serious possibility. The following are some of the advantages of using railroad transport for freight, and reasons why it is a cheaper and better option than some other methods.Lower Fuel CostsTrains often have far lower fuel costs than other freight transport methods. Trucks, for instance, use huge amounts of fuel (i.e. diesel) and this adds up to much greater cost. This cost is passed on to the business customer using trucking as its means of transporting goods.Air transport likewise is usually a far more expensive option. Planes must be refueled often and have a higher overall operating cost.Trains run to a large extent on electricity, and this greatly cuts the fuel costs of rail transport. This allows railroads to reduce their operating costs and offer customers cheaper freight rates.TimeTrains are usually faster than trucking, and this also translates into savings in the end. We all know that “time is money.” Trucks average a much slower speed than trains. They must stop many times during the course of a trip for things like stoplights and railroad crossings and for meal or sleep breaks for the driver. The time it takes for trucked freight to reach its destination is thus greatly increased.Slower transport of products can mean a lower turnover of goods as customers must wait longer to receive purchases a company doesn’t have in stock. So aside from the simple transportation costs themselves, truck transport may have this extra unwanted slowing effect on production and sales.Trains move on average much faster than trucks and also make far fewer stops. The increase and speed combined with the savings on fuel combine to make train freight transport substantially cheaper.Long DistanceTrains are an especially good option for long distance transport. The rail infrastructure is very well developed in the U.S. and trains go to virtually any destination. Freight trains were designed for long distance travel and transport, and the companies that run them know how to do it cheaply, safely and effectively.Safety of FreightTrain accidents are far less common occurrences than truck accidents. If a truck gets into an accident and damages or destroys the freight it is carrying, this can be a very expensive mishap for a company. If you add up the cumulative effect of a series of these accidents, the cost goes up further still. Trains, being less likely to have an accident, thus prevent what could be expensive freight replacement or repair costs and save money for a company.Add up all these advantages and you can see why it makes sense to use railroads for transportation of freight. And on top of the economic advantages, trains are more environmentally responsible. So if you are a company that needs long distance freight transport save money while supporting a greener alternative and consider using America’s railroads.

Healthcare Reform, Key Initiatives – Timing and Implications | healthcare

Healthcare Reform OverviewThe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have a profound effect on healthcare providers, including reductions in reimbursement to hospitals and physicians; focus on value based purchasing – higher quality and lower costs; financial incentives and penalties tied to clinical quality outcomes and a transition away from fee-for-service payment to bundled payments and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).Healthcare Providers: Recommended ResponsesHealthcare organizations developing plans to respond to reform initiatives must create a path for the organization that:
Aligns the board, executive staff, medical staff, and clinical staff
Implements measurement, monitoring and benchmarking systems for costs and quality
Streamlines processes to enhance clinical outcomes and reduce costs
Integrates information technology, including electronic health record technology, with clinical and administrative processes to support care management across all settings
Focuses on improving clinical performance through evidence based medicineIt will be critical for organizations to get a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses relative to each reform initiative.Thriving under reform initiatives will require organizations to evaluate the entirety of their business, optimizing operations in all areas to enhance net revenues and reduce labor, supply, drugs and other costs. The goal should be to achieve or beat ‘best’ quartile performance.Hospitals must continue to improve quality while increasing cost effectiveness.Hospitals should undertake an in-depth evaluation of what service lines are crucial for their success – and which lines might be scaled back or divested based on funding limitations.Healthcare reform will forever alter the landscape of medical care in the U.S.Hospitals will have to align medical staff to address quality of care and comprehensive performance improvement under healthcare reform measures.An organization’s ability to collaborate with physicians to redesign clinical processes, minimize unnecessary services, lower readmission rates, and reduce hospital acquired conditions will be critical to their success under reform.Hospitals now not only need margins to meet their missions, they need margins to meet the demands of reform.Short-term and long-term savings from critical performance improvements will help position organizations to succeed under reform and beyond.While many of the ramifications of healthcare reform and its effect on hospitals remain to be seen, one thing is certain: there will be less money in the system to go around.

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