Written by: HPC Staff
Creating and following a budget is the reality for any organization. With a need for continued education in the healthcare industry, managing a budget for education, along with all other organizational needs, is extremely complicated. There are many ways to start budget planning.
Below are two of the most popular ways for creating a budget are incremental planning and zero-based budgeting.
Incremental planning looks at the previous year’s budget cycle and reproduces it based on inflation and growth. Because incremental planning is based on previous experience, these budgets are normally reasonably priced and accurate. A disadvantage of this method is stunted growth as it’s often easier to do what has always been done.
Zero-based budgeting is a start from scratch approach where needs and goals for the organization are set during the budgeting cycle and the budget is tailored to fit the needs and goals. Zero-based budgeting has an advantage in which all activities are decided critically, leaving room for growth. On the downside, this approach is not always possible for an organization as it is very time consuming.
Each of these approaches are only the first step in planning a budget. No matter which model is selected for an organization, there are many other factors that go into creating a budget and even more for when unexpected savings or cost arise. What is even more important is staff communication throughout to fulfil organizational needs.
In a world where education costs continue to rise, finding a way to increase the value while lowering costs becomes the goal of all healthcare institutions.
Diversity is important for every organization. Diverse cultures and backgrounds are crucial for fostering a professional environment that produces new ideas. The budget also affects the staff so keeping everyone in the loop is the best way to make sure the needs of the organization are properly fulfilled. Senior management might not always be aware of the needs of each department.
Involving team members also helps to provide a deeper view of the organization and provides a budget process that will help to expose all the needs of the team. Keeping team members in the loop can help with finding out places where needs overlap. If multiple departments share needs, then it can save an organization a lot of money by sharing resources.
Continuing education in healthcare has become increasingly costly. To give staff members weeks or months off and pay for continuing education is not in the budget for most healthcare organizations. No matter what type of budgeting is done, these massive education costs are just not in the cards for some organizations.
Healthcare organizations do have a few lower-cost options to offer their staff continuing education. Online education options have never been shown to be more budget friendly and accessible to professional healthcare workers and employees. Online education is also the most flexible option for learning. People can do their lessons on their own time and re-watch them as many times as they need to understand the information. Online training reduces cost, provides flexible educational content to healthcare workers, and allows employers to maintain operational and clinical productivity in their facilities.
Another option for professionals wanting to receive continuing education is to go to conferences that offer continued education credits. There are many different conference opportunities that offer credits for continued education. With the digital age, it is as easy as a google search to find conferences in your area that you can go to for network and to gain valuable knowledge. These options generally are lower cost alternatives to traditional learning and can be done at any time, so they don’t cut into employee hours. Online options and conference credits are more easily worked into an organization budgeting plans.
The goal of creating a budget should be getting the most out of your investments. Often there are hidden costs throughout the organization that takes budget space unnecessarily. Communicating with the team and finding other more cost-effective solutions for continuing education is important, but sometimes that isn’t enough, and many underlying costs are missed.
Whether it is an unused subscription service, or a missed opportunity for savings, a consistently monitored budget is important to negate these issues. Often organizations do not have the time or resources to make sure they are getting the most value out of their budget. What can be done to maximize budget value?
Organizations such as HPC International provide services that constantly monitor an organization’s spending and work together with healthcare organizations to reduce costs and deliver budget ROI. These services can catch areas of overspending and maximize the cost to value ratio in an organization.
If your organization is looking to stay better organized with your membership, education, and subscriptions, check out MyHPCEducationConcierge™ services offered by HPC International, Inc. ™ To learn more about our education service, check out MyHPCEducationConcierge™ service.