Presenting the Business Plan
A business plan is a new program proposal with operational and budget information. Think of it as a story that tells the “who, what, why, when and how” of a palliative care program. It explains how palliative care will improve the hospital’s performance and what is needed to achieve that end.
The business plan should have the following elements:
This should be a simple, easy-to-present section that can be discussed with key audiences in ten minutes or less. This section synthesizes the contents of the overall plan into a concise, persuasive summary of:
- Context for the proposal
- Key program features
- Need or problem addressed
- Funding requirements
- How the palliative program will meet the need
- Expected impact and measures
The financial summary is the program’s budget. It identifies the program costs (both at start-up and during operations) and potential sources of revenue or cost avoidance that the planning team identifies in earlier stages. Cost avoidance is especially important in making the financial case, because palliative care is not a significant source of revenue.
Operational Plan for Implementation
The operational summary specifies:
- Organizational model and structure
- Space needs
- Staffing requirements and roles
- Basic policies and procedures
- Patient volume and program capacity projections
- Degree of integration with other programs in the hospital and community
The operational plan must describe how funds will be spent to implement project elements, hire staff, and care for patients and their families. It should explain how the program will coordinate with related services such as geriatrics, hospice or pain management, and how it will differentiate itself. See Defining Palliative Care for a comparison of these services.
Institutional and Market Analysis
This section summarizes information developed during a Needs Assessment. Describe how the program is an improvement over the process currently used to care for seriously ill patients, from clinical and financial perspectives. Openly acknowledge the program’s potential downsides, including financial, political or clinical disadvantages and explain how they will be addressed and tracked.
Describe how the program will get the services to its audiences and position, promote, and communicate about them effectively over time. See Effectively Marketing a Palliative Care Program for more information.
Include any necessary detailed financial data, models for cost savings, revenue projections and biographies.