Looking for ways to trim practice expenses in the new year? Here are some easy suggestions for saving a little here and a little there. It can add up.
- Buy office supplies and other nonmedical supplies in bulk from a store like Costco.
- Shop online for office supplies. Sometimes buying online is cheaper even with shipping charges factored in. Sometimes if you order a certain dollar amount, shipping is free.
- If you work in a medical building, team up with other practices to buy or order supplies in bulk.
- Buy recycled printer cartridges.
- If you need equipment or office furniture, buy quality used products rather than new.
- Use cheap copy paper for routine office copying, and use both sides of the paper when feasible.
- Reuse office paper; for example, use the back of fax cover sheets for phone messages and reuse envelopes for daily deposits.
- Use an outside printer rather than your laser printer for the standard forms and handouts you use in your office. Toner ink and staff time are too expensive for quantity printing; it’s cheaper to email your forms to a copy service that can print (on both sides), staple, and drill holes as needed.
- Get free forms. Sample business and personnel forms are available on the web; try www.entreprenuer.com/formnet. TMA and medical specialty societies also have online forms and tools for members.
- Get free, branded prescription pads from vendors, who pass them out for advertising.
- Look for better rates on your phone, credit card, overnight courier, biohazardous waste removal services, and the like. Have your needs changed in the past year? Does your service provider offer new pricing options? Does a competitor have better rates? Be sure to check out TMA’s Endorsed Services and Group Discount Programs for good deals for TMA members. Your specialty society may also offer members-only discounts.
- If you pay for heat and electricity in your office, install a setback thermostat and program it to use less energy during off hours. You can program it so the office is a comfortable temperature when staff and patients arrive.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs. Turn off the lights where they are not needed.
- Make sure only hazardous material goes into your biohazard waste receptacles so you can keep pickups to a minimum. Keep the receptacles out of patients’ sight so they don’t use them to throw away things like paper towels.
- Instead of magazines in the waiting room, offer free health literature.
- Create a system for monitoring supplies so you don’t end up ordering items you already have or accumulating more than you need.
Published Dec. 12, 2012
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