8 Simple Ways to Trim Spending at Medical Facilities
Trim the Spending at Your Medical Facilities and Thrive During COVID-19
COVID-19 has placed a financial burden on many hospitals. The cost of healthcare is always rising, both for patients and the facilities that treat them. Owners of healthcare facilities have to make difficult decisions as costs continue to grow. No one wants to compromise the treatment of patients to make ends meet. So that begs the question: how do you save money while still providing the essential services that people need? We’ve put together some tips that will help you create healthy financial habits and trim spending at your medical facilities. No matter the size or type of facility, you can increase efficiency and reduce excess spending with these cost-saving ideas:
Encourage a smoke-free workplace.The cost of healthcare for employees who smoke is surprising. As an administrator, you can incentivize employees to kick the habit to save on these expenses. Promote a nicotine-free lifestyle and offer resources for those who are trying to quit. You can implement policies that restrict workers from smoking on the hospital grounds or give rewards to those who quit.
Track where your money goes.To stop overspending, you need to find out where you’re spending. Owners of healthcare facilities can use CMMS software to track their expenses. Healthcare maintenance management software makes it easy to trace the money that goes into repairs, work orders, and scheduled cleanings. Once you understand where your money is being spent, it’ll be easier to draft a budget that restricts your high-risk spending areas. You can find and reduce spending on expenses that don’t contribute to better patient care. Diligent record-keeping is one way to eliminate excess spending.
Reconsider the resources that are offered.Small changes can make a big difference in overall spending. Many hospitals are switching from bottled drinks to a fountain dispenser in cafeterias and staff lounges, which can save thousands a year. If you are subscribed to any monthly medical journals, go green by changing to an online delivery instead of print; this will save on shipping and production costs. Even small steps can add up, like switching from a brand name cleaning product to a generic one. None of these steps will interfere with the care your facility provides, but it will save you from spending unnecessary money each month.
Ask the staff for savings ideas.Your employees know your workplace best. Perhaps they have some ideas about things they’ve noticed that can be changed. You can send out a staff survey that will ask questions about how the hospital can cut their costs, or leave an open box where they can submit ideas. They can identify specific areas where the budget can be tweaked since they see the day-to-day operations. A staff member might suggest switching from a name brand drug to a generic one or even buying less-expensive napkins and gowns for patients. These changes will not significantly impact the patients but they will add up to savings on your monthly budget.
Weigh food portions.Food waste is a cost that most people don’t expect. In America, it is estimated that 30-40% of the food supply goes to waste. Consider this statistic when it comes to cafeteria portions. How much food goes uneaten by patients, and straight to the garbage can? You can reduce this waste by tracking the food you purchase more rigorously. Are portions for patients going uneaten? Adjust them accordingly so that meals aren’t unused. When food is about to be thrown away, consider the reason for doing so. Is there another purpose it could be used for? Change the way you look at food to save your hospital from wasting goods.
Have a closer look at administration costs.Going paperless can save your facility and the planet. Look at your yearly printing expenses to see why switching to online resources will save your hospital a good amount of money. If you have an in-house IT department or digital marketing team, you may want to consider outsourcing instead; it will save your hospital on monthly salary costs without reducing your quality of service. Appointment scheduling can be done using online applications instead of a receptionist. Reduce your spending in administrative areas so that your hospital can invest more money in patient care.
Use a bartering network.There’s a way to make purchases without spending revenue. Trade business services to save money. By bartering, you won’t have to use cash to make purchases. You can use barter dollars for items that you lack the money for. Rather than dipping into your funds, considering bartering for a service or product that you want. Does your hospital equipment need an upgrade? Barter for the machines you need instead of paying out-of-pocket.
Invest in energy-efficient lighting.This step requires an upfront investment, but rest assured that it will pay off in monthly energy bills. LED lights last longer and take less energy to run. If you have light fixtures with multiple bulbs, see if you can take out one without impacting the quality of lighting. A hospital in a sunny location can even have solar panels installed.
It’s tough to reduce spending, especially in a healthcare facility. You never want to tighten your budget if it means compromising patient care. These adjustments will help you trim your medical facility spending without decreasing the quality of care that your hospital provides.