Nonprofit medical clinics usually operate on tight budgets and rely heavily on cost-saving measures to provide essential healthcare services. Finding more ways to get funding and additional areas where money can be saved can be time-consuming and require out-of-the-box thinking on the parts of busy directors, boards, and managers. However, there are some ways to cut back on costs that can be easy and inexpensive to implement and which can make a difference over time. Here are some ways nonprofit medical clinics can save money:
Volunteers can be a vital part of non-profit clinics and centers. Recruit and train volunteers to assist with administrative tasks, patient support, and non-medical duties. In some cases, you can also find volunteer medical staff and other professionals who are willing to donate their time to your cause. Volunteer doctors, nurses, therapists, and non-medical professionals such as lawyers and law enforcement personnel are often happy to donate time and experience to charitable community organizations. Volunteers can help reduce staffing costs while providing valuable support.
It is important for nonprofits to stay current and use technology that can help them save money and serve their patients more efficiently and effectively. Invest in electronic health record software (EHR) and other health information technology to streamline documentation, reduce paperwork, and improve operational efficiency. You can also use technology for other tasks from virtual meetings to hiring freelance grant writers. This can lead to cost savings in staff time and administrative tasks.
Outsource Non-Core Functions
Outsourcing can help all businesses, both those that are for-profit and those that are non-profit, save expenses by operating more efficiently. Outsourcing allows non-medical tasks to be delegated to companies or individuals who specialize in those tasks. This can free up your employee’s time to do more essential and specialized duties. At the same time, the outsourced tasks will usually be done more efficiently and effectively by experts than they would be when taken on by employees who weren’t hired for that role and it can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time staff for these roles. Consider outsourcing non-core functions like billing, accounting, cleaning, and IT services to specialized companies or freelancers.
Embrace Telehealth and Remote Work
Consider utilizing cost-saving methods which take advantage of technology, such as hiring remote workers or freelancers for tasks such as accounting, after-hours phone service, grant-writing, advertising, and billing. You can also consider offering telehealth services to your clients which can save you money by allowing you to work more efficiently by reducing infrastructure costs and employee expenses. This can also allow healthcare professionals to work remotely, saving on office space, utilities, and other operational expenses. In addition, you may find more volunteers and employees if you can offer the ability to work remotely some or all of the time. Remote work is in high demand.
Streamline Supply Chain Management
One way that you can create a more efficient organization is by eliminating unnecessary complications in your supply chain. Implement efficient inventory management systems to optimize the procurement and distribution of medical supplies, and find efficient ways to store large numbers of supplies. This will allow you to purchase in bulk and negotiate bulk discounts with suppliers. Also, consider exploring partnerships with other healthcare organizations and clinics in your community to leverage purchasing power.
Seek Grant Funding and Donations
Grants and funding are vital aspects of any non-profit organization, but many board members and managers don’t enjoy asking for money. However, unless this task is done consistently and well, the organization and clients will suffer from a lack of funds. Actively pursue grant opportunities and solicit donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations that align with the clinic’s mission. Securing additional funding can help alleviate financial strain and expand services, and over time allow the organization to run more efficiently and help more people in the community.
Foster Community Partnerships
Community partnerships are valuable opportunities for small medical facilities and other community organizations to work together, lower costs, and combine efforts. Collaborate with other nonprofit organizations, local businesses, or educational institutions to share resources and leverage each other’s expertise. This can help reduce costs through shared facilities, joint initiatives, and community support as well as increase morale and give all the partnership organizations additional credibility and awareness in the community.
Implement Energy-Saving Measures
Energy is a large expense for all organizations, and saving energy costs can be one relatively painless way to free up more funding for other needs. Adopt energy-efficient practices, such as using energy-saving equipment, optimizing lighting systems, and properly insulating the clinic’s facilities. Using timers on the thermostats in the building, installing motion sensors on lights, and utilizing sun-blocking shades on large windows are all easy and relatively inexpensive ways to make your organization more energy efficient. Lower utility bills can contribute to long-term cost savings and some energy-efficient products and upgrades can be funded with specific grant funds or have additional tax benefits and refunds.
Conduct Regular Cost Reviews and Budget Assessments
Accurate accounting and frequent budget analysis are key to running a non-profit efficiently. Unless you know what you are spending money on, where your funding is coming from, and how much you are spending, you won’t be able to make changes or modify finances in order to work more responsibly and resourcefully. Regularly monitor expenses, review budgets, and identify areas where cost savings can be achieved. Regular assessments can help identify inefficiencies and prioritize cost-cutting measures and will allow your organization to help more people in your area.
Most businesses and corporations have similar areas where they can cut costs and reduce expenses. However, non-profits often have access to additional resources, funding, and cost-cutting measures that can allow them to function more effectively and with fewer expenses. Take advantage of the opportunities your organization has, think creatively about your community and services, and join hands with other organizations in the community to work together for the good of all.