When we get this process fully ingrained, our concentrated annual budget season will disappear. We’ll track performance from month to month, quarter to quarter. But the transition has a few holdouts.
A few departments still come to the table with a laundry list of how next year they’re going to do everything differently. Somehow they think the budget review is the best time to insist that they need more staff, more equipment, but will generate not one dime more revenue. One department with four peer departments across our system, suggested that their higher staffing ratio comes from “doing it right” while the others neglect their patients.
The monthly performance report will quickly highlight their timid goals. Just the way we sort the ten biggest budget shortfall variances for each hospital, I also have a report that illuminates the ten biggest overachievers. A “victory” relative to an artificially easy budget benchmark doesn’t necessarily prove superior performance – it can highlight an unambitious target.