Erlanger's new budget focuses on efficient movement of patients through the hospital, expanding primary care, improving infrastructure

Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Mar 3, 2011 -- Building mug of Erlanger Hosptial in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Erlanger Health System is looking to improve efficiency, increase access and lower costs in the wake of the hospital's rapid expansion for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The budget and finance committee of the health system's Board of Trustees on Monday approved management's proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, which focuses heavily on "throughput," or the efficient movement of patients through the hospital. Other priority areas include expanding primary care and improving infrastructure.

The full board will meet Thursday to discuss and vote on the plan.

The budget allocates $36.1 million for capital investments, about $3.7 million less than the initial capital presentation the board viewed in March.

Nearly $9 million would go toward projects that include post-anesthesia care unit expansion, an endoscopy center at Erlanger East hospital, MRI replacement and a nurse call system.