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Doctors pay careful attention to their patients but rarely review their overhead costs. That is despite how much overhead costs them every month, averaging more than 60% of their billings. Overhead costs include salaries, medical supplies, office expenses, and purchased services. If you don’t manage these expenses, you may not earn a profit at the end of the year. Here is how GP surgeries can lower their costs without sacrificing service.
Staffing costs are almost always the biggest overhead cost in a medical practice. One solution to this is to carefully calculate staffing requirements. Start by creating a list of comprehensive tasks and analyse how many people it takes in each role to complete them. In the end, you may find that you’re overstaffed. If this is the case, let attrition do its work instead of laying people off if possible.
If you find that your labour costs are high, it could be because your staffers are overworked. Solutions to this include automating repetitive administrative tasks and adopting technologies that lessen their workload.
For example, electronic medical records and automated vital sign recording can reduce up to 57% of the time medical staff spend on administration instead of patient care. You could introduce wearable patient sensors to monitor patients as well. This gives nurses the information they need to monitor patients while reducing alarm fatigue.
Use staff scheduling software to create and manage work schedules. Monitor workloads, and try to prevent anyone from being overworked. Overloaded medical professionals are prone to burnout and will eventually quit their jobs. On the other hand, controlling overtime costs will by itself reduce payroll costs.
Try to reduce turnover, because it costs money to find new employees. And when recruiting, make sure applicants are a good fit with the practice. You may also need to consider competitive compensation. View it as an investment, because you can’t afford to hire people who turn around and quit.
While medical supplies are essential to running your general practice, they are also expensive when wasted or lost. Fortunately, there are several potential solutions to this problem. Bar-code medication administration or BCMA systems help prevent medication errors by ensuring patients get the proper medication at the right dose.
Odds are that you can lower the total amount you’re spending on medical supplies as well. You should consider looking for wholesale GP supplies online. Buying from the same supplier will allow you to make even greater savings in the long run. You also need to invest in inventory management, because you can’t afford to buy too much and have material go to waste.
Find out if there are employees who can perform tasks that you’re currently hiring others to do. One potential cost-saving measure is cross-training your employees. For example, a secretary could learn how to enter data into electronic health records, allowing doctors to focus more on patient care. Another option is hiring employees who bring these skill-sets in house.
You can lower your overhead costs and improve patient care by adopting the right mix of technology and more efficient work practices. Many of these changes could result in improved staff retention rates and higher morale, too.