What Are Sustainable Practices For Allied Health Businesses
- By Renato Parletta
- December 4, 2020
As our awareness of the impact we have on the world increases, many forward-thinking professionals are talking about corporate social responsibility and what are sustainable practices they can implement in the business. For allied health professionals, sustainability means taking an approach to certain processes in a way that will benefit the practice, as well as the environment, and support their longevity.
When it comes to connecting with patients, sentiment shows that they are more willing to support businesses who implement ethical or green standards to be more sustainable. This is good news for you as the owner or manager of an allied health practice. Not only can implementing sustainable practices reduce your overheads, but they can actually help to market your practice.
To help you with your strategy, we have handpicked some sustainable practices to implement in your allied health business, regardless of its size.
What Are Sustainable Practices For Allied Health Businesses?
Innovative Software Solutions To Go Paperless
Allied health practices use paper for a variety of reasons. Receipts, customer records, invoices, brochures, letters, and business cards to name but a few. However, these can easily be made digital by using allied health, medical billing, or WHS management system software, for example, that is both cloud-based and affordable.
In the long term, this will help your business to function more efficiently, saving both time and money. It will vastly reduce the amount of paperwork that you and your admin team have to do, giving you more time to see patients not to mention better record management.
For the paper that you do use, consider implementing a recycling system. This also works for electronics, fluorescent light bulbs, computers and monitors. A waste management vendor can help to formulate a process for this.
Empower Your Team
Take the time to educate the people who work for you on the importance and benefits of sustainability. This will help to get them on board with your goals and subsequently streamline the implementation process.
Share what your practice is already doing or planning, but also solicit additional ideas from them on what they think the business can do. There may be some things that you hadn’t thought of, and including your team in this process can instil a sense of ownership and belonging.
Conserve Energy In The Workplace
When people ask “what are sustainable practices?”, conserving water and electricity is normally the go-to example, and rightly so! Reducing your business’ consumption of both is easy to do, and is one of the most straightforward ways to implement sustainable practices.
For example, you might convert to energy-efficient faucets, toilets, and lighting, all of which reduce your environmental footprint and save you money. Also, consider the following questions and take action accordingly:
- What are the energy ratings on your heating and cooling systems?
- If they’re high, are there feasible options for reducing their usage without compromising on comfort?
- Does it operate even when the clinic is empty?
- Are you using energy-saving bulbs?
- How feasible is it to switch to motion-operated lights to reduce unnecessary lighting?
- Are you maximising the natural light coming in from the windows?
Around 40% of power usage in clinics goes to heating and cooling, with lighting also accounting for a significant portion. So, these questions are well worth considering.
Sustainable Supply Chains and Energy-Efficient Products
Take time to examine your supply chain, and scrutinise your use and supply of products. Are any people, animals, or resources being exploited? If so, investigate more sustainable vendors before negotiating contracts and making the switch to embrace sustainable business practices. Most of your patients will appreciate the fact that you are working with environmentally-friendly businesses that are conscious of their impact upon our planet.
This extends to the office environment as well. Try to exclusively purchase energy-efficient electronic products that run on sustainable friendly settings. For example, computers, electronics, and IT products that are EPEAT registered, and, therefore, optimised for efficiency.
Furthermore, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and medical practitioners make use of a lot of products. For example, resistance bands, mats, braces, balms, oils, exercise equipment, or rollers. Where possible, take the initiative and switch to green materials from eco-conscious companies.
Market Your Sustainability
We mentioned this earlier – becoming a more sustainable allied health practice is a very marketable drawcard! Implement this fact into your general branding tactfully and genuinely, to let your patients and community know about your green ethos. Ultimately, this can reward you with repeat business and more word-of-mouth referrals.
Ultimately, being sustainable is all about being innovative! Implementing green practices into your business strategy will contribute to the long-term survival of your practice. Every business owner should be looking to become more sustainable for both moral and strategic reasons.