Oldie but goodie! This post was originally published in Sept 2015 and updated in Dec 2017 as part of an on-going series highlighting popular past posts.
You work hard every day to ensure your practice runs efficiently, your patients are happy and your business is thriving. Financial stability is key to your long term success. Rather than discussing how-to’s on marketing more effectively or how to retain and acquire patients in order to accomplish this, how about a little advice on ways you can actually save money, which is almost as important.
Anything you can do to cut costs by improving office efficiency is worth taking the time to look at and consider implementing, as poor practice management has a ripple effect among staff, provider, patients and your practice’s long-term success.
Here are 5 practice saving tips that can have a significant impact on your bottom line:
1. Create and stick to a budget- Sitting down to hash out a budget is a good opportunity to see where time, money and other resources are being maximized as well as wasted. If you haven’t taken a good look at the areas suggested below, and aren’t implementing them into your current budget, it may take a year or two to see a reflection of an overall savings, but in some cases, it can be substantial.
2. Eliminate overtime- If you have employees who are consistently working overtime, it is likely that poor organization skills and/or job performance are the culprits. Evaluate the reasons staff members end up needing to stay past normal office hours. Come up with solutions on how you can work together as a team more efficiently in order that you can all get out of there on time! Reassign duties and responsibilities if necessary.
3. Bring on midlevel providers with discretion- Making the decision to bring aboard a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant can make sense at a multi-provider practice, but may not be a wise financial move otherwise. As you evaluate your budget, you may find you can do without additional care providers especially if you can pin-point areas of inefficiency that have brought you to the conclusion that it made sense in the first place.
4. Make full use of your facility- Managing the daily task list more efficiently as well as the provider/staff schedule can have a significant impact on your monthly overhead costs. Oftentimes, practices are overstaffed mid-week, and overwhelmed on the other days of the week. Consider coming up with a more efficient schedule, spreading out days off, and even expanding office hours if necessary, which may be a better use of everyone’s time. Not to mention, your patients may appreciate the flexibility as well.
5. Do your research- Thoroughly and critically evaluate new services and/or equipment before deciding to purchase or implement them into your practice. Make educated estimates on volume it could generate along with the cost of the service or equipment itself. It will be well worth the upfront effort to do so, as you may find the return on investment is not as significant as you initially thought it would be.
The Bottom Line
It is highly likely that your practice expenses are much higher than they deserve to be and that there are only a couple of tweaks you would need to make that would result in an increase in your practice’s bottom line. If you can find better ways to manage your resources and create a rainy-day fund, it will put you in a position of being more financially confident and sound, should an emergency arise, or even give you the ability to pay your hard-working staff members a nice Christmas bonus! A stable, thriving practice will create a more relaxed atmosphere for staff and patients alike which in turn results in a good reputation for your practice. Time to buckle down and budget!
Get even more tips for ways to improve revenue through automation in our free guide.