Organizational planning in the health care area is a regular process, which affects the efficiency and economic reasonability of the relevant institutions. I would like to emphasize that appropriate organizational planning requires the identification of a management system to be applied subsequently. The management system provides guidance on aspects and stages of planning. I suppose it is worth pointing out Vraciu’s article (1979), which discusses the application of the programming, budgeting, and control management model to health care organizations. It distinguishes three phases of the management control processes, based on which the main objectives of organizational planning can be identified.
Programming is the first phase involving the planning of activities and operational strategies. It includes “types of medical services to be provided, the types of teaching and research activities to be conducted, the service populations to be served” (Vraciu, 1979, p. 126). Budgeting consists of planning expenditures for the relevant programming purposes, while the control provides for particular reporting and feedback mechanisms. These phases correspond to the programming, budgeting, and control objectives. My understanding is that the most essential planning objectives are the programming objectives. They relate to the planning of significant operational processes such as specific types and conditions of medical and research activities of the health care organization and the spectrum of possible patients. The objectives of budgeting and control are more of a maintenance nature but are also of paramount significance as they are to create the appropriate means and conditions to achieve the programming objectives.
I will consider an example wherein one of the main programming goals of the hospital management for next year is to upgrade the therapeutic equipment. Following this overall objective, the radiology department of the hospital decides to install new magnetic resonance imaging and radiotherapy equipment. This programming objective will be consistent with corresponding budgeting and control objectives. These will consist of planning the budget and defining specific reporting formats. Thus, the general objectives of healthcare organizational planning will be implemented in specific hospital departments.
Vraciu, R. A. (1979). Programming, budgeting, and control in health care organization: the state of the art. Health Services Research, 14(2), 126-149.