8 Ways to Save Money and Keep Your Medical Practice Running Smoothly
The prosperity of your medical practice hinges on your ability to make wise purchasing and operating decisions. You can keep your medical practice running and set the foundation for future success by investing in high-quality, affordable medical products that optimize efficiency and reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Below are eight ways to save money and keep your medical practice running smoothly.
1) Identify key barriers to efficiency
The average medical practice faces multiple barriers to efficiency. Examples include excessive time spent sourcing, cleaning, and sterilizing commonly used medical devices such as specula and scopes. Some of the key ways to bolster operational efficiency include the following:
- Minimize the need for medical equipment repairs by purchasing products with no adverse events
- Reduce expense and time related to procurement of sterilization equipment and cleaning agents
- Decrease the percentage of resources allocated to cleaning and packing instruments and devices
2) Reduce the risk of cross-contamination
Cross-contamination affects millions of patients every year and results in hospitalization costs of over $30 billion annually. By taking steps to eliminate the primary causes of cross-contamination, you will create a work environment that is safer for your patients and staff alike. Recommended strategies to reduce the risk of cross-contamination include regular hand washing, thorough cleaning of diagnostic equipment, and thoroughly cleaning soft surfaces such as privacy curtains or seat cushions.
3) Purchase single-use equipment whenever possible
“Sterility is a concern with any reusable instrument. The chance for insufficient cleaning during the sterilization process between cases raises questions about sterility and cleanliness… Cleaning reusable instruments is time-consuming, difficult, and causes delays in surgical turnover times… With disposable instruments, the surgeon can be certain that the instrument is sterile every time.”
– Ryan Tarantola, MD; Magdalena Shuler, MD, PhD; Shalesh Kaushal, MD, PhD; and Sunil Gupta, MD
Investing in single-use, disposable equipment accomplishes two primary goals. Single-use products reduce the risk of cross-contamination while saving valuable time for healthcare teams at medical practices and surgery centers. Additionally, their disposable design eliminates the need for repair or servicing, which can save medical practices thousands of dollars annually. Two examples of single-use products are as follows:
- ANOSPEC Single-Use Lighted Anoscope: Manufactured with clear material to promote 360-degree visibility, ANOSPEC requires no assembly and produces peak light for over 30 minutes. Powered by alkaline batteries, there is no need to purchase or maintain a costly electric separate light source.
- ER-SPEC Single-Use Vaginal Speculum: ER-SPEC features an integrated LED light source. ER-SPEC reduces costs and lowers the risk of cross-contamination that can occur with reusable instruments that are not properly cleaned.
4) Outsource non-core responsibilities
Outsourcing tasks such as payroll, collections, and marketing enables practitioners and support staff to focus on core responsibilities such as patient care, new business development, disease prevention, and continuing education. Additionally, outsourcing can yield significant cost savings because your medical practice only pays for services as they are provided. For instance, outsourcing collections and payroll tasks makes sense if those activities only require an average of 22 hours per week to complete them. Paying a full-time employee a salary to complete these tasks means that you would be paying a full-time employee the equivalent of a 40-hour workweek even though that person is providing services that are only needed for roughly half of that time. Finally, you do not have to pay for training and office equipment for outsourced workers.
5) Invest in LED lighting
Replacing all of the halogen and fluorescent lights in your facility with LED lights will result in significant long-term cost savings for your practice. Additionally, because most medical lights with LED technology have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours, you will enjoy substantial time and savings on the cost of replacement bulbs alone.
6) Maintain your capital equipment
Maintaining your capital medical equipment is vital to ensuring the safety of your staff and patients. Additionally, you will prolong the life of your equipment and save money by making sure that your equipment is regularly serviced. Examples of equipment that should receive regular preventive maintenance inspections include surgical tables, anesthesia machines, and patient vital signs monitors. Here are some specific ways to ensure that you properly maintain your capital equipment:
- Always clean your equipment after each patient
- Create a preventive maintenance schedule for your facility that includes all capital equipment
- List the next recommended service date next to each piece of equipment
- Entrust a member of your staff with the responsibility of making sure the schedule is followed
- Contact your equipment service provider at the first sign of a problem
7) Purchase your products from a quality-minded company
As you evaluate potential equipment providers, be sure to inquire about each provider’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. Companies that possess the qualities below are typically excellent choices to provide medical equipment:
- ISO 13485 and other quality certifications
- American engineering
- Use of high-quality bio-compatible materials
- Zero reportable adverse events
8) Conduct an annual internal audit
“The drive to become more effective and efficient has increased within internal audit functions, and auditors indicate that they intend to become more data-driven while introducing more automation to their activities in response to ‘do more with less’ demands.”
– Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors
A growing number of hospitals, surgery centers, and independent medical practices are conducting internal audits in an effort to control expenses and bolster efficiency. Results of internal audits are useful in highlighting the need to master new compliance requirements, mitigate risks, and engage in continuous quality improvement. When conducted on an annual basis, internal audits can help your practice function seamlessly.
What is the best way to keep your practice running smoothly?
Clearly, there are many ways to save money and keep your practice running. However, the single best way to keep your medical practice running smoothly is to seek the guidance of an industry expert. The equipment specialists at OBP Medical are committed to helping healthcare practitioners minimize costs and reduce the risk of cross-contamination. You can easily request a sample of OBP Medical’s ANOSPEC or ER-SPEC to experience the value and high product quality offered by single-use medical products.
As an ISO 13485 certified company, OBP Medical offers American engineering, products made with top-notch bio-compatible materials, and superb service. We invite you to contact us today to find out why we have become a global leader in medical efficiency and quality. We look forward to becoming your trusted resource for smooth medical operations!