Photo: Usman Yousaf/Unsplash
A medical clinic is a business just like any other. The goal, besides helping people feel better and live healthier lives, is profit. Of course, today’s healthcare field demands that doctors get every ounce of efficiency out of their offices as possible, and there are many areas in which to do this without sacrificing patient care or quality. Overheads, technology, staff, billing, and insurance are just a few of the areas that should be evaluated. Let’s look at some of the ways a medical clinic can lower costs in the office.
1. Cut Costs on Supplies
No medical office can operate without a wide range of necessary supplies. The trick to cutting costs on supplies, however, is to be creative with their purchase. For example, you can buy medical supplies online and use the USPS rather than FedEx or UPS for shipping to save $5 or more on just one piece of overnight mail.
Other ways savings can be made include refilling printer ink cartridges rather than buying new ones and asking your suppliers for discounts. Often, suppliers won’t tell you about discounts and savings until you ask for them, so it always pays to check.
2. Upgrade Transcription Methods
If you’re old-school and still dictate and transcribe your notes manually, you’re wasting a lot of time and money that could otherwise be spent seeing more patients. Upgrading your transcription method to automatically transcribe your notes as you dictate them can save you a thousand dollars a month or more. If you’re worried about accuracy, don’t. Many of these digital services are as much as 99-percent accurate.
3. Cut Out Traditional Advertising
Not many people turn to the phone book anymore to find a doctor, so that ad you’ve been paying for all these years really isn’t doing you much good.
Today’s most effective advertising takes place on the internet, but if you must advertise in the phone book, don’t go overboard. Stick to a simple ad that includes your practice name, phone number, and website address.
4. Hire More Part-time Staff
Full-time staff can be expensive as they usually demand benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations, and sick days. With that said, if a full-time staff member resigns, consider replacing them with two part-time employees instead. You won’t need to supply health insurance, nor will you have to give them paid time off.
You may want to consider hiring freelance workers to handle simple admin work and small business IT support to manage your IT needs. Freelancers and contractors aren’t employees, so they don’t get the same benefits as employees do.
If you still need to cut costs where staffing is concerned, consider changing insurance plans to an employee-only policy with a higher deductible and no dental or vision coverage.
5. Create a Functional Website
Build a website that allows patients to tend to their needs themselves. Allow them to schedule their own appointments, request prescription refills, and download educational materials and forms online from your website. This will cut down on communication costs and time spent on the phones helping them with these kinds of tasks. To ensure your website is as user-friendly as possible, it’s worth enlisting the help of a professional web design agency.
Cutting costs in a medical clinic doesn’t mean a cut in quality and care. By strategically reducing expenses where supplies, staff, and technology are concerned, medical clinics can save money and deliver a higher-quality experience for their patients. This results in happier, more loyal patients and staff overall.