5 Ways to Make Your Outreach Clinics More Efficient
Outreach clinics provide a valuable lifeline to people who live in rural areas or regions where travel to a hospital or surgery center can be a challenge. Also known as satellite clinics, outreach clinics are particularly vital to patients who cannot travel for medical attention. Indeed, these patients need for medical treatment would go unmet without traveling medical specialists. Today’s most successful outreach clinics are continually seeking ways to treat more patients and improve the quality of care that they deliver. Below are five ways to make your outreach clinics more efficient.
1) Feature Mobile Equipment Options
Mobile medical equipment offers versatility to satellite clinics that often must adapt quickly to respond to the changing healthcare needs of surrounding communities. By using mobile equipment, you can quickly transform an operating room into a flu shot clinic room. Here are four pieces to focus on to maximize space and flexibility:
- Mobile surgical tables: stainless steel surgical tables often weigh 800 pounds, making them difficult to move unless they are on casters.
- Portable anesthesia machines: with a 30-pound weight and a small footprint, you can easily transport portable anesthesia machines.
- Ventilators: mobile ventilators eliminate the need for a bulky or heavy compressor, making them easy to transport and use.
- Portable EKG monitors: today’s portable EKG monitors are tiny, lightweight, and can connect to any personal computer to save and transmit patient data.
2) Switch to Single-Use Medical Devices
Replacing reusable medical devices with single-use devices offers a host of advantages to outreach clinics. In addition to saving you time and money, single-use devices will help your clinic promote efficiency and boost infection control. Here are some examples of single-use devices that are growing in popularity among outreach clinics:
- Laryngoscopes: When used as instructed, single-use laryngoscopes eliminate the possibility that bacteria on blades and handles are transmitted from one patient to another. Additionally, they offer convenience and superior illumination when compared to many reusable models.
- Anoscopes: Single-use anoscopes are battery-operated, thereby eliminating the hassle associated with reusable models that require recharging. Also, because there is no need to reprocess them after use, outreach clinics can maximize time and save money.
- Vaginal Speculum: Pelvic exams are a common service provided at satellite clinics. Switching to a single-use illuminated vaginal speculum allows medical professionals to see more patients because there are no delays due to lengthy reprocessing or sterilization times. Additionally, there is no hassle associated with reusable light sources, as single-use devices feature an integrated LED light source.
3) Explore Manually Operated Equipment
Manually operated devices offer a host of benefits for outreach clinics – especially those located in rural areas where reliable access to power is limited. Their versatility is outstanding and manual equipment often lasts for years. Here are just a few advantages of manually operated devices:
- Lower cost: Manually operated devices are almost always less costly than electric devices, enabling you to maximize small budgets.
- Power outage-proof: Their lack of dependence on electricity enables you to continue to use manual devices even after a power outage.
- Hassle-proof: With no cumbersome power cables or cords, it is easier to maintain clutter-free treatment areas with manual equipment.
- Low maintenance: With no fuses, power supplies, or other electronic parts to replace, manual devices are much easier to maintain.
- Eco-friendly: Manually operated equipment typically poses less of a threat to the environment than electric equipment.
4) Consider Renting High Ticket Items
Many outreach clinics are on a limited budget. However, there is a growing need for imaging equipment, which can quickly erode a modest clinic budget. CT scanners, MRI machines, and C-arms can cost well over $100,000, some easily exceeding a million dollars. These prices often cause clinic operators to simply strike the equipment from their procurement lists, leaving many people without proper diagnostic care.
Equipment rental and leasing programs can help satellite clinics offer greatly needed services at an affordable monthly rate. Additionally, the equipment provider typically covers the cost of maintenance and service, creating an attractive scenario for cost-conscious clinic operators. Procurement managers who are facing especially tight budgetary constraints can work with clinical specialists to identify specific months of the year to offer associated services.
5) Use Social Media to Connect With Prospective Patients
“Along with traditional media, social media also offers a tremendous opportunity to share the community outreach, wellness and community health activities in which you are engaged. You will be able to reach key audiences simply and cost effectively.”
– American Hospital Association (AHA)
70% of patients use social media in their daily lives and roughly 50% of smartphone owners use the internet to retrieve health information. Social media provides a fast, free channel through which healthcare providers can share news about upcoming screenings, health programs, and other wellness services.
In addition to being an effective outreach tool, social media can be used to secure feedback from patients about program quality and healthcare needs. You can administer surveys, respond to live chats, and communicate with patients through instant messaging. The feedback you receive can prove to be invaluable when improving satellite clinics and outreach services.
The Bottom Line
Maximizing efficiency at an outreach clinic is easier than ever with today’s impressive of single-use devices and mobile equipment options. By making the switch to single-use devices and mobile equipment, you can increase your clinic’s flexibility and treat more patients. Most importantly, you help reduce maintenance costs and long-term expenses while helping to prevent infection.
We invite you to contact us at obp to discover how we can help your outreach clinic operate more efficiently. Indeed, our impressive collection of single-use medical devices features video laryngoscopes, anoscopes, and vaginal speculums are FDA-approved. Also, they are designed to maximize convenience while eliminating cross-contamination. We look forward to introducing you to the many ways that single-use medical devices can enhance your outreach clinic!