From purchasing new technology to onboarding medical professionals, it’s no secret that running a healthcare facility costs millions each year.
Finding the most cost-effective solutions can be challenging, especially when the health of your patients is on the line.
We’ll share the top cost reduction strategies in healthcare, from automation to human resources and utility expenses, and explain how our mobile forms solution at doForms can further reduce your expenses by streamlining processes and allowing you to ditch paper resources.
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Top Cost Reduction Strategies In Healthcare
From streamlining your healthcare operations through automation to lowering costs on waste disposal, here are eight cost-saving ideas for your healthcare organization.
How To Reduce Costs In Healthcare Through Digitalization
1. Automate Manual Processes
Whether it’s managing appointments or locating medical equipment, automation is key to improving patient care and streamlining your operations.
To automate processes within your healthcare facility:
- Automate check-in and check-out procedures with mobile solutions to eliminate bottlenecks.
- Utilize real time location systems (RTLS) to quickly locate medical equipment.
- Implement electronic health records (EHRs) to reduce manual errors and improve data accuracy.
- Use telemedicine to help patients receive medical care remotely and reduce the need for in-person visits.
- Integrate automated patient scheduling to reduce wait times and improve patient satisfaction.
At doForms, our mobile forms solution allows you to you automate cumbersome, time-consuming paperwork by relying on secure digital forms, from patient charts to employee schedules and beyond.
2. Optimize Patient Flow
From the moment a patient enters your healthcare facility to the moment they head home, optimizing patient flow can help improve customer satisfaction and quality of care, while reducing wait times, preventing overcrowding and cutting costs.
To optimize patient flow:
- Utilize patient transportation services instead of relying on your nursing staff to transport patients, which results in time away from treatment
- Improve your hospital layout to help staff and patients navigate your healthcare facility.
- Rely on automation to streamline processes that involve paperwork, such as check-in and check-out procedures, patient charts and scheduling
How To Reduce Costs In Healthcare Through Human Resources
3. Optimize Scheduling And Staffing
Staff scheduling can help reduce labor costs. For example, in the E.R., the slowest time is from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Does your current schedule reflect the dip in staffing need at this time?
To streamline employee scheduling and staffing:
- Evaluate your facility’s data to identify busy and slow hours, and even seasons where patient volume increases — for example, during July 4th and New Year’s Eve
- Utilize digital solutions for scheduling
With doForms, you can easily manage employee schedules, evaluate shifts, and even manage payroll and performance reviews from the simple touch of your device, whether on the go or at your healthcare facility.
How To Reduce Costs In Healthcare Through Utility Savings
4. Optimize Your Waste Management Systems
From pharmaceutical to radioactive waste, waste management collection is a crucial service with your healthcare institution to ensure that toxic garbage is being properly disposed of. Evaluating your current processes can help you cut costs.
To reduce waste collection costs:
- Properly segregate waste. When you separate recyclables such as plastic bottles and glass jars, they can easily be sorted and processed at a recycling facility, reducing waste processing costs.
- Utilize composting to minimize your waste volume.
- Negotiate with your waste management company for better rates. See if they offer discounts or special rates for long-term contracts.
5. Audit And Optimize Telecom Costs
From telephone lines in emergency rooms and nurses’ stations to WiFi connections in patient rooms and beyond, telecom plays a key role in healthcare operations.
To cut costs within telecom services:
- Utilize product bundles instead of availing different contracts
- Audit your usage and eliminate services that aren’t being utilized
6. Lower Energy Consumption
It is no secret that energy costs make up a substantial part of healthcare expenses. In fact, hospitals in the United States spend an average of $2.84 million for electricity, per year.
For a 200,000-square-foot hospital with 50 beds, that’s around $680,000 on electricity alone.
So, how can you lower your energy costs when you have electronics that need to be powered around the clock?
To lower your energy consumption:
- Have your HVAC systems inspected by a professional at least once a year to prevent costly repairs and ensure optimal efficiency.
- Utilize energy-efficient lighting such as LED bulbs, which save up to 90% of energy compared to traditional bulbs.
- Use motion-sensor lighting and occupancy sensors so the light is only turned on when motion or a person is detected.
- Use a thermostat’s timer to turn off cooling or heating in unoccupied areas.
- Utilize stand-by power for monitors and lab equipment that aren’t in use.
- Switch to renewable sources of energy, such as solar thermal technology to heat water, rooms and buildings.
- Conduct an energy audit to help you understand your facility’s energy consumption and identify additional energy-saving opportunities.
7. Ditch The Paperwork
A recent study found that the average hospital (that houses 1,500 beds) in the United States spent $3.8 million on paper alone per year, in 2018.
Digitizing documents and storing them in the cloud for easy access can help you cut down on paper costs while also streamlining operations.
8. Outsource Third-Party Contractors
Whether it’s entering data or serving nutritional meals in the cafeteria, outsourcing services from third-party providers allows you to save money, boost efficiency and let your hospital staff focus on their medical capabilities.
Departments in which you can outsource services include:
- Food services
- Facility management
- Waste management
- Data entry
- Information technology
- Medical coding
To outsource third-party services:
- Identify the services you need to outsource.
- Review proposals from potential outsourcing partners and select the contractor that best fits your needs and budget. Consider factors such as cost, experience and reviews.
- Work with your outsourcing partner to negotiate a contract that includes key details such as the contract duration, services to be provided and cost.
How To Reduce Costs In Healthcare With doForms
doForms is a mobile forms solution that transitions your healthcare operations towards a paperless approach by helping you digitize patient charts, medical history, reports, payroll and employee schedules.
In addition to eliminating paper costs, doForms can automate most of your internal processes, from storing documents on the cloud to managing patient schedules and beyond.
Using our mobile forms can help you simplify and streamline your healthcare processes to boost your staff’s efficiency and ensure your patients are getting the right care they deserve, while dramatically cutting costs.
Our mobile forms allow you to:
- Create and fill out digital forms using any device, whether at the facility or on the go
- Select forms from a pre-built library of healthcare templates or create custom forms
- Send medical reports and progress reports in real time
- Store forms and reports on the cloud in a secure, centralized location
- Manage patient visits with an integrated scheduling system
- Access mobile forms with or without a stable WiFi connection
- Select from more than 30 drag-and-drop features
- Provide top quality care for your patients with instant access and full visibility into their health information
- Leverage the scheduling and dispatch tool to schedule form completion for a date and time that aligns with patient visits
- Integrate doForms with your existing electronic health record system to export completed forms into patient charts and transfer patient data in real-time
- Use the secure electronic signatures feature to streamline check-in and check-out’s
- Utilize automatic capture features, including photo, video, GPS location, mileage tracking and more
- Communicate medical equipment issues in real time
- Create medical equipment maintenance and near miss reports
- Manage your hospital staff no matter where you are
- Export payroll forms, access employee schedules and time sheets at any time, from any device
- Build comprehensive maintenance checklists, annual physical exam checklists and caregiver daily checklists
The best part? All of our forms have HIPAA-compliance security features, including PIN-based logins, multi-factor authentication, form field encryption and more, to protect your patient’s sensitive healthcare information.
With doForms mobile forms solution, you can cut costs while optimizing processes throughout your healthcare facility, from patient check-in’s to scheduling, payroll and beyond.
Reducing costs in healthcare and streamlining processes can help improve the quality of care that patients receive, while allowing your medical professionals to be as efficient as possible while on the job, and direct their attention to where they’re needed most.
What can you do with your cost savings? Invest in advanced technology, hire top medical professionals… the possibilities are endless.