Sourcing medical office supplies
Medical office supplies range from average paper clips to specialized forms so finding the right supplier is a big job, particularly for doctors opening their first practice. The first step to finding a medical supply vendor is to do a bit of research.
Where to look
Speaking to other physicians to find out where they buy their office supplies is a good place to start your search. They can be an invaluable source of information as they can point you in the right direction and provide practical advice. Many national and state medical societies can recommend vendors and it is worth checking if members are entitled to discounts.
When searching for medical supply companies always take your list of supplies and equipment to at least three different vendors and ask for bids. However, don't choose a vendor by price alone because you'll want a company you can rely on for future purchases. Base your decision on price, speed of delivery and customer service.
Medical supplies and equipment
Buying the majority of your medical office supplies in bulk from one company is usually a good move but for medical equipment you may be better off buying supplies individually. Most specialist vendors have a standard list of commonly used medical office supplies to make the ordering process a bit easier and to make sure you don't miss anything. However, they may not cover all the needs of specialist physicians and you may need to consult another company or even a mail order catalog for specialist supplies.
When it comes to IT, medical offices are sometimes a little slow on the uptake but in order to succeed in the modern medical profession, you need to get familiar with medical software. Practice management software enables doctors to generate electronic bills, post payments, produce reports, schedule appointments, register patients and produce electronic claims.
Many packages now combine practice management and electronic medical record software but this isn't cheap. Costs include training, maintenance and updates; not to mention having the right hardware. Altogether medical software could easily cost up to $40,000 to purchase, implement and train staff to use it.
Many medical supply vendors sell furniture as well as medical office supplies but if you're on a tight budget then try regular furniture stores or mail order catalogs as they may well offer a better range and price than specialist medical office supply companies. No matter how tight your budget, always buy the best furniture you can afford for the waiting room; your patients need to be as comfortable as possible. You'll need sturdy chairs with arm rests for unstable and elderly patients.
Medical office supply company catalog and online savings
The average doctor spends approximately $20,000 on office supplies every year and most are constantly looking for ways to cut those costs. Buying medical office supplies online or from mail order catalogs can generally save you about ten percent which can be a substantial saving each year. Many online firms offer catalogs of their goods so you can peruse these at your leisure and then order online.
Using online medical vendors can also save a lot of time filling out lengthy forms that need to be faxed. Instead, you use an online checklist on the vendor's website. In many cases, ordering online means you get immediate confirmation of the order and if anything is out of stock you are informed straight away. Most websites offer free shipping and quick delivery.