EMCI Wireless Blog

Budgeting and Evaluating Costs

Budgeting and Evaluating Costs vs. Benefits for Hospital Facilities Directors

Most hospitals are frequently faced with the challenge of how to get the most out of their existing resources and how to do more with less.

With that in mind, how do facilities directors think about budgeting? And what goes into balancing the costs versus the benefits?

After all, your team may have ten items on its wishlist. But with a limited budget, you may be asked to prioritize four of these items.

Facilities Budget is Different from the Security Budget

At a high level, facilities directors think about budgeting for both OpEx (operational expenses) and CapEx (capital expenditures).

Common OpEx for hospital facilities may include budgeting for calibrating test equipment or a radio maintenance agreement. These areas typically involve a fixed monthly expense and are planned based on having some idea of usage needs and trends.

Common CapEx for hospital facilities may include buying new X-ray machines or putting a new roof on a building.

Many common hospital facilities’ needs could have both an OpEx and CapEx component as is common when budgeting for voice communications.

As a hospital facilities director works on their budget, with an eye towards modernizing the toolkit to create safe and secure hospital environments, while improving physical security, think about how your team may use:

  • Analytics
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Incident management
  • Mass notifications

Evaluating the Costs of a New Initiative vs. its Benefits

For example, a dispatch center requiring eight hours per day of weekday coverage needs five staff members. That same dispatch center may be staffed at six staff members on weekends based on the assumption that weekends are busier. But are weekends actually busier at your hospital?

To know, rather than guess, the right kind of technology investments allow you to monitor your team’s utilization rates. This way, you can become more agile scheduling for days, timeslots, and shifts. Then, you’ll be able to approach your counterparts in finance and HR with data-driven arguments for additional headcount.

The big picture bears in mind that fewer staff members are needed to watch monitors when a hospital invests in technology that supports triggers and analytics. This may not sound like a big deal on the surface. 

However, if your hospital runs eight-hour shifts, three times a day, and you have four to five shifts of people total, better technology could eliminate one position per shift, or five people, which frees up $300,000 to $400,000 a year in savings.

One final note on budgeting:

On the compliance side, when it comes to video, the ONVIF standard now allows IP-based products to work within your surveillance video framework. This interoperability protects your existing investment and seamlessly interfaces with other key technology platforms that improve the safety and security of your hospital.

What is your hospital doing to modernize its safety and security toolkit? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.

And if you’d like to learn how wireless communication improves physical security for hospitals, download our eBook, “Creating Safe and Secure Hospital Environments: How Wireless Communication Improves Physical Security for Hospitals (For Hospital Facilities and Security Professionals).”