Controlling expenses requires prudence, monitoring, and teamwork

Many physicians see productivity as the sole measure of a healthy clinic. While it is true that a nonproductive clinic cannot stay open (see “To maximize productivity, use benchmarks, delegate tasks, and download free web-based tools”), no amount of productivity can save a clinic from wasteful spending or poor investments.

Pragnesh Vachharajani, MD“In the initial years of setting up a practice, expenses are always high. However, you should opt for the best possible equipment. In the long run, top-notch equipment carries low maintenance fees.”
—Pragnesh M. Vachharajani, MD, a family physician with a special interest in obesity and lifestyle-related disorders in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, and a member of mdCurrent-India’s Editorial Advisory Board

“Do not spend on things that you feel are unnecessary,” says Raghavendra D. Kulkarni, MD, professor and head of the Department of Microbiology, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka. “Resist peer pressure. A posh clinic may impress patients, but ultimately professionalism, your rapport with patients, and your attention to patients’ medical problems are the most effective practice-builders.”

Kulkarni, other doctors we spoke with, and clinic management experts offer the following tips for controlling clinic costs:

Key Point: Control expenses by making prudent purchasing decisions and carefully monitoring revenue and costs.
  • Spend prudently.
  • Focus primarily—but not totally—on productivity.
  • Purchase quality equipment.
  • Monitor expenses as well as revenue.
  • Ask employees for help.

Prudence and good judgment are paramount

New physicians who have limited or borrowed funds should think carefully before making purchases. For example,...

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