Healthcare organizations must be judicious when investing in strategic growth initiatives. Scrutinizing every opportunity enables senior leaders to help reach the goal of maintaining the long-term success of the business. As such, it is critical to thoroughly evaluate the various cost factors associated with an investment prior to seeking approval from executive leaders.
While many health information management (HIM) and healthcare information technology (HCIT) professionals recognize the wide-ranging operational benefits of enterprise content management (ECM), they may struggle to convey how it will affect the bottomline. This requires the collection and analysis of substantial volumes of data to identify the projected financial risks and returns. The more potential expenses one can predict and evaluate, the stronger the proposal will be.
With every business investment, there are 2 primary types of costs to consider
- Start-up: One-time payments that are required for initial implementation of ECM
- Recurring: Charges incurred repeatedly, or for each service performed
After creating a detailed list of these factors, it is important to consider whether these expenses are fixed or variable. Some examples of potential variable costs include non-contracted technical support fees, future expansions in server storage, and staff wages. Accurately predicting the charges can be difficult, if not impossible. Nonetheless, sharing this data can strengthen your evaluations and demonstrate the thoroughness of your research to executive leaders.
While the term “cost” typically carries a monetary connotation, investing in ECM can also affect an organization’s bottomline tangentially. An example of this might be the additional labor hours required to implement a document management and imaging system, as well as the impact these efforts could have on other projects due to changes in staffing resources. The more meticulous and transparent you are in outlining expenses, the greater your odds will be in gaining approval for your investment.
To learn more about determining the costs of ECM and building a business case for executive leadership, download our latest white paper, “Developing a Business Proposal for Enterprise Content Management.”