Programming & Budgeting in Healthcare Organizations

A healthcare institution requires planning and controlling to ensure an effective working process of an organization. Each institution develops and implements specific activities for such purposes. Programming, budgeting, and controlling processes are the primary activities that occur in the strategic planning process as a starting point, and each of them serves a specific function.

A programming phase includes solving issues regarding revenues, expenses, and requirements of patient care, facility size, and other related areas that contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. The major categories that decisions are based on include marketing information, strategic plan and goals, previous year’s performance, and external constraints.

The budgeting phase serves as an efficient planning function as it provides formal communication between the hospital’s governance, administration, and department heads. Budgeting describes the consequences of programming decisions and can be used as a standard in the control process. The controlling phase includes the evaluation of financial and non-financial performance in the retrospective analysis. (Vraciu, n.d.). The analysis determines problems and their causes and serves several purposes. Firstly, it keeps management informed on what is happening in different responsibility centers. Moreover, an analysis may indicate the need for change in the budgeting process and educate the heads regarding the consequences of certain decisions.

I believe that an effective planning process can make a difference in the changes in the hospital’s operating environment. A thoughtful plan allows for identifying possible difficulties that an institution can face. Hence, it can develop and implement ways of facing particular issues, and change in an operating environment can be smoothened.

Therefore, programming, budgeting, and controlling are essential to implement not only to develop a plan for the improvement of an institution but also to allow the business to adapt to the changing environment. By following the listed steps, an organization becomes effective for healthcare providers and owners. Moreover, it allows considering potential problems, which contribute to the implementation of changes if needed.


Vraciu, R. A. (n.d.). Programming, Budgeting, and Control in Health Care Organizations: The State of the Art. Health Services Research.

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