A medical office is a lot like most businesses—Every dollar counts. Any business owner would leap at the chance to cut costs at any given opportunity.
But to those operating their own medical office, things are different. You can’t just cut costs on a whim. There might be plenty of chances to cut costs, but then you’d be sacrificing quality of care and efficiency.
Anyone running a medical office is probably wondering how to save money, ethically and efficiently.
Financial planning is key to the success of your clinic, so here are 7 tips to help you cut down on your medical office’s operating costs.
1. Automate Everything
Think about how much time is spent with patients on the phone. Calling to remind them about a bill, helping them schedule an appointment, canceling an appointment, etc.
Your life and the lives of your receptionists would be so much easier if your patients did everything on their own.
Online appointment scheduling has never been easier. Automated calls can remind patients about payments. A well-organized website can give your patients all the information they need to do things themselves.
2. Don’t Spend Unnecessarily
This one sounds obvious, but take a minute to think about it. Does the office really need a brand new couch? A refurbished one will work just as well.
Do all the computers need to be brand new models? Something a little bit older could do the job just as fine.
If you go through supplies like there’s no tomorrow, which most providers do, then why not buy in bulk? Buy everything in bulk. If you’re going to use it, then it’s worth the investment.
3. Buy Disposables
Most people believe that buying reusable supplies will save them money in the long run. However, they don’t account for maintenance or cleaning. Buying disposables in bulk is a much better and time-efficient option.
Not only does this save salary costs for the person in charge of sanitizing / cleaning, but it also reduces the number of paid staff hours required to run the practice.
4. Hire Interns
Interns aren’t just for fetching coffee and running to the copy machine. Interns are eager to learn and help however they can.
It’s important to treat and pay your interns fairly for the best results. You’ll find that most interns are competent enough to do a lot of tasks that need to be done.
Interns could do a lot of work that is usually done by professionals or receptionists.
5. Invest in Your Employees
While interns are helpful, your full-time employees are the powerhouse of the clinic. That’s why it’s important to invest in them. Without them, the whole operation falls flat.
According to MGMA, the cost of losing even an entry-level employee can be up to 25% of their salary. The numbers shoot up when losing an employee in a higher position.
Give your employees great benefits, fantastic pay, and a flexible schedule. Work-life balance is extremely important to a physician’s long-term health.
Happier employees work harder and want to get more done.
6. Evaluate and Reconsider Electricity Usage
Most offices use a lot of electricity. A lot of it is wasted. Conducting an electricity audit could show you a lot of wasted energy.
Investing in solar-powered energy could be a game-changer. You could save thousands over the years.
Another great option is implementing motion sensor light switches. These will automatically turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used and can rapidly add up savings.
Speaking of lights, are you using fluorescent bulbs? It’s a quick and affordable option to switch those to low-power LED alternatives. Your electrician can simply remove one component from the light housings you already have and then change the bulbs and you are set.
However, it’s important to not be unreasonable when it comes to saving electricity. Leave the AC on when it’s hot and keep the fridge in the break room plugged in. Being too cheap with electricity could lead to unhappy employees and patients.
Employees could be involved with saving electricity, though. Ask them to sign a pledge to turn off anything that doesn’t need to be on.
7. Invest in Dragon Medical One
Dragon Medical One, sometimes mistakenly called Dragon Dictate, is innovative medical speech-recognition software that saves physicians more than 2 hours a day.
Cutting costs is great, but getting a huge ROI on a nice investment is so much better. It’s much more cost-efficient.
The time that physicians spend at work is important. So it’s wrong that they spend up to 2 hours doing paperwork for every hour they spend with patients. That’s so much wasted time just spent typing or writing.
Dragon Medical One makes clinical documentation quick and easy. Simply speak and the software inputs whatever information was spoken aloud directly into the EMR system. Best of all, Dragon Medical One integrates seamlessly into whatever system your clinic already runs on.
At just the price of a cup of coffee a day, you and your clinical staff can save more than 2 hours.
Click here to see your ROI numbers after you invest in Dragon Medical One.