You finally found a space to lease or buy. Perhaps your vision includes brand-new exam tables, the latest in EKGs, that fancy computer system and that beautiful oak desk you’ve had your eye on for months. But before you run out and spend that money, let’s take a look at your budget.
Some of us opened offices with a nice loan but allows us to buy everything we want. However I think most of us opened offices on a shoestring. I know I did. In my case it didn’t make sense to take at huge loans to start a practice. So when it came time to outfit my office I knew I needed to spend my money wisely. The tips I’m about to share with you is just one way that you can find supplies for your office.Â I’m sure others will have other suggestions. Your job is to take all of the suggestions and do what works for you.
Stop for a moment though. Before you start looking for medical equipment and supplies, office equipment, computer systems and the like, you need to make a list of what it is you think you’re going to need. You might want to do this on the computer because I guarantee that this list will be revised dozens of times. Some of the supply houses will most certainly be willing to supply you with a list. Here is one supply list I found (sorry I don’t remember where) that you can download in an Excel format. (This list will download to your computer when you click on the link).
Here’s what I did. I walked through the rooms of the office and started jotting down what I needed in each area. How are patients and staff going to move through the office and what will you need to do your work? For example: in the reception area we needed phones, fax machine, copier/printer/scanner (yep, we got an all in one), chairs, mat for chair, paper, pens, computer, shelves, files, etc. Next: exam roomsâ€¦when through the same process – what do I need in these rooms, and so forth.
Here is the first list I made. I didn’t use it as we didn’t end up in that space. My final list, for our office turned out to be much different, but it will give you an idea of my first draft.
If you are still working, think about keeping a notebook in your pocket and as you go through your day, jot down what you are using/needing on a daily basis.
In Part II, I’ll go into where I started spending money. Stay tuned.
(c) Barbara C. Phillips, NP