3 smart ways for practices to trim expenses

A cornerstone of practice survival these days is efficiency, including cost-efficiency. But although payroll is the biggest expense for most businesses, healthcare experts advise against cutting muscle from your staff.

If you are like most practices looking to get as much bang for your payroll buck, consider adapting the following strategies from Inc.:

  • Hire interns. Use of interns not only keeps staffing costs down, "but it also means bringing youthful, energetic, enthusiastic people into your company, and it can help you get a line on great talent later on when you're ready to hire," according to the post. Mission Hospital in North Carolina is one example of a health organization that uses this approach to help grow its future workforce, FiercePracticeManagement reported previously.
  • Let employees work from home. Remote work arrangements allow both employees and employers to use the time a person would be commuting more productively, while also helping a company optimize its office space and other resources. But in order for managers to effectively oversee a remote team, they need to start with staff who are self-starters, self-directed and have the discipline to ignore the distractions of a home office, FierceHealthcare reported previously. Then managers must nurture the relationship by setting up clear expectations and providing staff with the necessary resources and tools to do the job.
  • Negotiate purchases. Rather than nickel-and-diming human resources, simply make it a policy to ask suppliers about discounts. Comparison shopping on many small expenses can also add up to big savings. This approach has helped the Cleveland Clinic save thousands of dollars on items such as sterile gloves, wound cleanser, surgery-site markers and alcohol swabs.

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