Budgeting is a tool that helps the estimation of a project’s future cash flows. Given the limited amount of resources, priority choice or setting will remain a reality in the implementation of healthcare programs. Having a budget can be beneficial in planning for the future of the program implementation. Budgets also help create operational efficiency and assess the decision made by the directors. Economic evaluations of this budgets will inform the policy makers the efficiency of the allocation of resources (Wyatt, 2012). In order to come up with an appropriate budget then a health program planner needs to look for the best available evidence-based research concerning a similar project or one that is closely related.
Impact of Budgetary Concerns on the Implementation Strategy
It is vital to link the implementation strategy to the budget. Often the real costs of operation are underestimated and in some cases, not all costs will be identified. Views on the appropriate role of budgeting in the evaluation of implementation strategies may vary from one program to another. It however remains realistic to consider the cost of operations as complementary to the primary criteria such as care effectiveness (Thiry, 2010). Regardless of the opinions and approaches that might exist all implementation strategies have costs, it is just a matter of deciding which implementation strategy will have minimal adverse effects on the budget.
In this case, working with a small budget and trying to extend the reach of the program to numerous elderly individuals might result in inequalities and inefficiencies in improving the overall quality of life of the program beneficiaries. Inequalities may occur when the individuals do not receive the same level of attention or care in the program. Cost-benefit evaluation of the strategies will help the planners to decide on the most appropriate implementation choice. A strategy’s effectiveness is measured by comparing the outcomes of the different strategies against the required budget or operational cost (Hoomans & Severens, 2014). Planners need to ensure that they understand that the needs of the patients need to be part of the decision-making process.
The potential changes that I would make in the implementation of the health promotion program would be to shift focus from health screening and monitoring which tend to be costly undertakings since most of them require the presence of specialized individual and tools. More emphasize on the components of the health promotion program need to be on exercise, nutrition, rest and sleep. These are effective ways of promoting the health of the individuals while at the same time keeping away any health risk factors (Peacock, Mitton, Donaldson & Hedden, 2010). For example, exercise has the psychological benefits of reducing stress and improving the depressive state of the elderly.
Economic analysis of the budgetary approaches is not a hard task to perform. It can be easily applied in assessing the effectiveness of a particular implementation strategy in a health promotion program. When the decision makers are confronted with the implementation problems and seek to derive the greatest benefits from the available resources, then they need to make use of some form of cost-benefit analysis to determine the best approach (Brown, 2007). The opportunity cost of the different strategies can also be assessed to determine what could have been the potential benefits to be gained from the other alternatives.
Brown, J. (2007). The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Hoomans, T. & Severens, J. (2014). Economic Evaluation of Implementation Strategies in Health Care. Retrieved 6th February 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4279808/
Peacock, S., Mitton, C., Donaldson, C. & Hedden, L. (2010). Priority Setting In Healthcare: Towards Guidelines for the Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis Framework. Retrieved 6th February 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20950070
Thiry, M. (2010). Program Management (Fundamentals of Project Management). London: Gower Publishers.
Wyatt, N. (2012). The Financial Times Essential Guide to Budgeting and Forecasting: How to Deliver Accurate Numbers. London: Financial Times.