Medical Essentials: A Basic Office Supply List for Private Practices

Updated on July 14, 2020

The average length of a doctor’s visit is about 17.4 minutes. If you want to make the most of that time, you should have some medical office supplies on hand.

By keeping stock of items on a basic office supply list, you can spend more time with your patients. Then, you can give the best care that you can give.

Keep reading to learn about some office supplies that every medical office needs.


One of the more recent essentials for opening a medical office is computers. You’ll need computers for your receptionists so that they can check in your patients.

However, the doctors and nurses will need laptops that they can take from room to room. Then, they can easily access patient records without having to use paper.

You’ll also need software to keep track of patient information and book appointments. If you work with a hospital system, they may have this already in place.

But if you start an independent private practice, you’ll need to set this up yourself. Computers are on the basic office supply list for almost every industry, and it can help you bring your private practice into the new century.


You will also need at least one scanner for your medical office. If for nothing else, you will need to scan patient insurance cards so that you can bill their insurance company.

But you may also need to use a scanner to send prescriptions to the patient’s pharmacy. You might also need to send faxes to other medical offices, such as specialists.

A scanner is also helpful if you have patient information on paper. You can use the scanner to turn the paper document into a digital file for easy access.

Consider looking for a scanner that can also make physical copies and send faxes. Then, you can use one piece of equipment for multiple purposes, so you can save money and space in your medical office.

Credit Card Machines

The next item on any medical office supply list is a credit card machine. If you charge any copays to your patients, you will need a way to collect their payment.

You could take cash, but that can take a lot of time to organize and keep safe. Charging patient credit cards is an efficient way to get the payment that you need.

Odds are you can start with one credit card machine, but having a backup is smart. If your main machine fails, you can switch to the backup machine so that you can continue to charge patients.


A phone line is one of the best ways to communicate with patients when they aren’t at your medical office. You can use phones to remind patients about appointments or to book appointments.

Phones can also come in handy when your patients have questions that can’t wait for their next visit. You can set up a medical answering service so that your patients can get the help they need even after when your office is closed.

An answering service is particularly useful for evenings and weekends. Your patients can call whenever an issue occurs, so they won’t have to wait until the next day.

Pens and Paper

While many offices rely on technology, no basic office supply list should exclude pens and paper. You may need to use paper to take down patient notes.

After a new year, your patients may need to update their records. And unless you have a computer available, you can’t beat a pen and paper for those updates.

Once your patient checks in, a receptionist can hand them any forms they need to fill out. Then, you can speed up the entire visit by having that information on paper.

A pen and paper can also be useful if your computer crashes. You can write down notes and add them to your computer when it’s back up and running.


If you will be using pens and paper often, you should have a way to organize them. Electronic patient records may be the norm, but you may also want paper folders.

Whenever the power goes out or you need a backup copy of something, you can use the patient’s physical folder. You can label the folders and store them by the patient’s last name, so you can keep them just as organized.

And if you’re on a budget when opening a medical office, paper files can suffice until you can afford to use electronic records. Just make sure you also have a secure way to store the files between patient visits.

Lab Coats

Your nurses and other doctors will probably want to wear lab coats during the workday. While you don’t need to have a huge stock of coats, having some is fantastic.

Then, you and your team can go into a patient room feeling a bit more prepared. Now, lab coats aren’t always necessary, but they can be useful.

Depending on your medical specialty, you may want a lab coat to protect your clothing. Either way, consider keeping at least a few lab coats on hand for when you need them.


If your medical office will be taking patient samples or labs, you need a refrigerator. Some samples need to be in a cool environment to get the best results, so a refrigerator is vital.

You should make sure the refrigerator is in a secure location and that it has constant access to power. If the power goes out, make sure there’s a generator so that any samples in the refrigerator won’t get warm.

Medical Supplies

No medical office is complete without some essential medical supplies. While your exact list will vary based on your specialty, there are a few things every medical professional should have.

  • Stethoscope
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Medical defibrillator
  • Medical scissors
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Bandaids
  • Medical labels
  • Exam tables

Consider the types of patients you see and treat. For example, a gynecologist will need different equipment from a cardiologist. Make sure you have enough of these supplies on hand so that you don’t run out of your essentials.

Your Basic Office Supply List

Before you open a medical office, you need to consult a basic office supply list. If you have the essentials, you will be able to spend more time treating patients and less time worrying about your supplies.

Then, you can enjoy working in medicine and not stress about the small things.

Did you like this article? Check out the blog for more helpful tips.

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