1. Blake, Billie E EdD, MSN, RN


In the context of downsizing and with the decline of revenue in healthcare organizations. educators recognize the need to develop strategies to measure the subsidy of staff development programs to the organization's welfare. An annotated reference list is provided to assist educators who have little time for an extensive literature review with a place to begin development of a plan to measure return on investment.


Healthcare educators are in an environment of fiscal and human resource accountability. Shrinking dollars are motivating staff development educators to scrutinize the value of their training programs more thoroughly and in new ways from the past and to accept accountability for the contributions of training programs to the organization's well-being and competitive advantage (MacLean, 1994). Staff development professionals who are faced with the necessity of proving that training programs produce organizational benefits need a data-oriented and a user-friendly approach to measure return on investment (ROI).


A beginning point for developing a plan to measure ROI is a review of the literature. Ninety articles from a variety of business, training, and healthcare journals were reviewed to create a list of 24 references. Articles included in the review were related to evaluation, cost analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and return on investment. The criteria for an article to be selected for the ROI reference list included that the article would:


* be available in journals found in most college and university libraries or in full text in electronic library databases.


* contribute to the understanding of key concepts of ROI.


* contain practical information that could be applied in multiple settings or types of educational events.


* provide workplace ROI examples.


Books and chapters in books were excluded because they might be less accessible, especially if the book is out of print or is highly specialized. Most of the articles selected for the reference list were published within the last 7 years; a few older articles were included because of the value of the content.


The 24 references are divided into four categories: foundation, evaluation, practices, and examples. For each reference, a brief summary is provided to assist the reader in identifying the article or articles that best meet his or her particular needs.