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Finance for Healthcare

CPD - short course
Healthcare leadership and management

What is an RCSI Online short course?

RCSI understands that healthcare professionals need to continuously grow and learn, enhancing their skills and expertise to meet the needs of an ever-evolving and complex healthcare environment and the changing demands of their roles. We know that sometimes a short and focused course in a specific subject area is all you need to meet your professional development needs at a point in time.

Our new and exciting CPD short courses will allow you to access transformative education, with topics and content delivered by subject-matter experts with industry experience and expertise. You will have access to leading-edge, highly relevant content delivered in a stimulating online learning environment, with exciting weekly course themes and formative knowledge checks. Each week, you will engage in a 1.5-hour live webinar session, accompanied by self-paced online activities to earn an RCSI Certificate on completion.

Why Finance for Healthcare?

In healthcare, every change has a financial implication.

When proposing or planning reform, in addition to an awareness of the clinical dimensions and impact, healthcare professionals also need a critical understanding of how to make a financial case for change or for a new service.

For healthcare professionals who want to bring about change, lead a project or look to a future management role, this course will provide an understanding of the role of finance in healthcare and equip them with the tools, language and confidence they need to make a business case. 

Enrol for this course now

Follow in the path of former students who have embraced 230 years of teaching excellence. Driven by the promise of 'leading the world to better health', RSCI has been at the forefront of international healthcare education since our establishment in 1784, and we have a worldwide reputation for delivering excellent Undergraduate and Postgraduate health professions education.

RCSI's singular healthcare focus is evident through all our Postgraduate programmes, offering innovative, insight-rich and immersive development opportunities for both current and future leaders in healthcare.

This course will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of finance for healthcare. By the end of the course participants will be better able to: 

  • Understand the organisational and managerial concepts of finance and how they apply to the healthcare sector.
  • Evaluate concepts in financial management, bearing in mind global and comparative dimensions of healthcare and what is most suitable to their own organisation.
  • Apply key financial tools and concepts to the management of finance in your healthcare organisation.
  • Discuss various financial analyses that can be used to support change initiatives in your healthcare organisation.
  • Reflect on their own role within their organisation and how it is impacted by financial considerations.

Note: The course does not require strong maths skills, but instead helps build an awareness of the costs of change, what budgeting tools can be used, and how to put forward the financial case for change.

  • Week 1: In week one, gain a deep understanding of healthcare finance, exploring its role, funding sources, and ethical considerations. Evaluate the impact of healthcare investment on treatment options, considering ethical implications of decisions like limiting access to life-saving drugs.
  • Week 2: In week two, explore global healthcare financing, comparing systems worldwide. Understand funding models, purchasing power parity, and the influence of global organisations like the OECD and the World Health Organization.
  • Week 3: In week three, shift focus to internal healthcare operations, examining the role of finance managers, budgeting tools, and the importance of awareness in setting and managing budgets. Learn to provide constructive feedback, advocate for change, and evaluate costs within healthcare organizations.
  • Week 4: In week four, address the challenge of making a case for change in healthcare, learning methods to compare current practices with reform costs. Overcome obstacles with tools and resources, emphasizing understanding initial costs, extending perspectives, and considering long-term financial benefits.
  • Week 5: In the final week, you will develop your individual action plan based on your learnings. Continuous feedback and guidance will be provided throughout the module, aligning with formative progress milestones and the weekly focus on the student summative.

This five-week course is fully online, so that you can study at a pace that suits your lifestyle. You will not be required to attend live sessions, ensuring flexibility for your schedule. The course consists of five weeks of content, including four weeks of teaching and a final week for completing a personal learning plan. Learning content is delivered primarily through pre-recorded video lectures and online activities.

Each week, there will be a recorded 90-minute webinar available, focusing on key topics. These webinars are accessible at any time for your convenience.

We understand that online learning might be a new experience for some. Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is intuitive, accessible, and easy to navigate. A dedicated programme coordinator will be available to assist with any technical difficulties or questions about learning online.

At the start of the course, we provide short orientation videos to familiarise you with the platform and course format.

Dr Louise O'Nolan

Dr Louise O’Nolan is currently the Deputy CEO for Academic Affairs and Registrar at Bahrain Polytechnic. As the Deputy CEO, she is responsible for the development and implementation of institutional and national strategy, accreditation, industry relations, managing budgets, new programme development, quality management, and growing the institution.

She has held many senior management roles across different sectors, giving her a valuable insight into how textbook knowledge of finance and strategy can be translated into practical skills, to be learned by any professional to improve their management skillset.

Dr Louise started her career in the technology sector during the emergence of commercial cloud computing, working at Google for a number of years in different roles. Later, she worked in technology consulting internationally, pulling together elements of finance and strategy for technology products. She has held a number of roles in higher education internationally from leading courses, managing academic quality functions and institutional accreditation. She has worked with institutions and boards of management as an advisor on strategic management.

Most recently she was a director at a national education reform office with responsibility for system performance, working with policymakers, academics, investors and other stakeholders to design and implement national strategies for education. In that role, she led up national large-scale strategy development, national strategy implementation tracking, stakeholder consultation and funding reform.

She holds a BSc in Computer Science, an MA in International Security, a Graduate Diploma in Project Management and finally a DBA in the area of strategic management and the production of strategic plans.

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive a RCSI Completion Certificate. Achieving this Certificate and earning continuous professional development (CPD) points involves passing weekly MCQs, engaging in online discussions, and participating in reflective exercises, including the completion of a personal action plan. These components are designed to be flexible, allowing you to progress at your own pace while ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

Although this course does not carry credits as per the European Credit Transfer System, it upholds rigorous quality assurance standards to provide an excellent educational experience. The course has been approved by the RCSI Professional Development and Practice Committee and is accredited for CPD points in line with the Irish Medical Council guidelines. Participants seeking recognition in other jurisdictions should verify the applicability of these CPD points as per their local requirements.

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