Spring Awakens: 12 Steps to Maintaining Your Practice

March 19, 2018

Daylight Saving Time is good time to check on things at the office, such as batteries and old equipment that need replacing.

Last weekend, we started Daylight Saving Time again.

Daylight Saving Time is good time to check on things at the office, such as the batteries to your smoke alarm. Make files concerning each of these items so you won’t have so much work to do the next time you run your list (when we leave Daylight Saving Time in November). Here's a list of items that, like changing the batteries in a smoke alarm at your office (or home), need continuous monitoring.

1: Check and change all equipment that has batteries. Thermometers, portal blood pressure cuffs, clocks, and timers. If you don’t want to actually replace all the batteries,  make sure you have an adequate stock of replacement batteries ready to go.

2: Check for replacement items such as specialty light bulbs for otoscopes and ophthalmoscopes.  Make sure you have spare parts for other equipment that is vital for your practice.

3: Don’t forget to check your AED and crash carts. Make sure they have not expired and replace items that are close or past dates.

4: Look at your medicine cabinet and lab supplies for expired items.

5: Do you have spare oxygen tanks? Are all your tanks full and operational?

6: Testing kits (strep test, flu test) also have expirations dates. Make sure to check those.

7: This is a good time to take a look at your office's service contracts. Make a chart for renewal dates and if there is an advance time period in which you would need to make changes. Such contracts can include: telephone service, IT services, cell phone contracts, copy machine, EHR services, office cleaning and even the service that manages your waiting room fish tanks. It’s always a good idea to look around for new services providers and the possibility of better pricing.

8: Waiting room magazines: Re-evaluate whether the magazines you order are a good fit for your patient population. Make a list of resubscription dates and adjust accordingly.

9: Regular delivery of medical and office supplies: if you have a regular recurring delivery of these items, make sure to evaluate whether you have excess stockpiles of certain items. Inventory on the shelf is money that you have spent but that investment isn’t doing much for your bottom line. You need just enough inventory to replace items as you use them up but not so much that you are wasting money.

10: Plan a brain storming meeting with providers and with staff members. Ask them in advance to think about any ideas for new services or items that might be helpful for the office. You might be surprised what they can come up with.

11: It’s a good idea to review dates for all personnel contracts (with providers and staff alike). Make sure you know when you need to have the yearly review with everyone.

12:  Find a time to do a deep spring cleaning of the office. Take everyone out of drawers and shelves and discard items that are no longer useful. Pull furniture away from walls and clean behind it. Assess your décor and replace any that is faded, dirty, or out of date.  Get rid of live plants that are scraggly, dead or unhealthy looking then buy some new ones. Time to ask the office cleaning crew to wash windows and blinds, wax the floors and clean the carpets. A clean and well-maintained office gives the right first impression to everyone.

Spring is about to appear all across the country soon (despite what that ground hog told us!). Hopefully these tips will get your spring off to a good start.