Strategic Planning In Healthcare | 4 mins read

Strategic Planning in Healthcare- What it is and Why it Matters

strategic planning in healthcare what it is and why it matters
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow

Just What is 'Strategic Planning in Healthcare'?

Strategic planning is a tool frequently utilized in business planning processes. Increasingly, healthcare organizations are recognizing the power strategic planning holds. Healthcare strategic planning sets both long-term goals and short-term objectives.

Strategic planning in healthcare organizations requires the development of a strategic plan that adequately addresses objectives and goals. Strategic planning for health care industries also necessitates consideration of government policies, economic trends, and advances in technology.

The healthcare industry is constantly changing and evolving. If a healthcare organization does not even understand itself it will likely struggle to succeed let alone survive. Thankfully, the strategic planning process has powerful tools built-in that provide critical organizational information.

One example is the SWOT analysis which is a foundational component of strategic planning processes. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis executed during strategic planning processes supplies healthcare organizations with a wealth of information.

The best healthcare organizations are aware that focusing on strengths and opportunities alone is not enough to succeed. Weaknesses and threats must also be evaluated closely. By gaining a more comprehensive understanding of itself, a healthcare organization can address weaknesses and threats more effectively.

Additionally, when strengths are identified it allows healthcare organizations to even further optimize them. Likewise, healthcare industry professionals will have more time to plan and capitalize on potential opportunities.

Although many strategic plan details may be similar across different healthcare organizations, some healthcare organizations have unique concerns. The planning process could include the planning team considering anything from hierarchical staff structure to within organization policies. Benefits strategic planning offers healthcare organizations range from short term strategic plans to long term employee experience improvements.

The Value of Strategic Planning

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Successful healthcare organizations are increasingly utilizing strategic planning processes due to the significant benefits they supply. Strategic plans and strategic management may interest both public health care and private healthcare industry professionals. Healthcare strategic planning is valuable not only for within organization staff but also for patients.

Improved communication is a typical strategic planning benefit. Strategic management and strategic planning combat communication issues. Poor communication in the public health and healthcare industry can lead to extremely severe consequences, potentially even patient death. As such, improving communication is a commonplace healthcare strategic goal and top priority. Optimized communications also increase stakeholder and employee confidence towards a healthcare organization.

Strategic planning for healthcare organizations necessitates the formulation of a universal vision. The development of a shared vision has massive implications for the healthcare industry. One implication is an increase in stakeholder confidence as well as financial decision making skills. Employees benefit from the guidance and direction that a unified, centralized vision supplies. Excellent strategic planning is also helpful for increasing funding for public health and healthcare industry organizations. Everyone involved in the healthcare organization is benefited from the vision produced by excellent healthcare strategic planning efforts.

The overall employee experience is enhanced through strategic planning. A common issue in healthcare organizations is a lack of employee motivation. Employee motivation problems can result from excessively long work hours or lack of career development. When a healthcare organization has a clear vision employee motivation typically rises. Including employees on the planning team and throughout the strategic planning process results in staff members feeling heard and valued. As a result, employee engagement rates will likely heighten.

Additional employee experience benefits healthcare strategic planning offers include optimized staff member decision making capabilities. Employee decision making is more intentional and informed when strategic plans are understood. Decision making capabilities are especially optimized when employees feel responsible for their strategic plan role. Employee productivity is enhanced as staff members are motivated to perform at a higher standard. Safety management is also improved which potentially deters costly and damaging legal issues. Most importantly, when safety management is improved patients receive better care.

When employee performance is optimized team collaboration and cooperation are as well. For the public health and healthcare industry to be high quality it must have excellent cooperation and collaboration. Customer service and the quality of care are enhanced through improved team cooperation and collaboration. As a result, short term objectives and long term strategic goals are more quickly and easily accomplished. Employees working together towards accomplishing set organization strategic goals benefits everyone.

Strategic management is much easier to accomplish with a healthcare strategic plan. When management professionals know exactly what is expected of them they are better able to lead others. When management responsibilities are unclear the entire organization suffers from a lack of leadership and direction. Transformational leadership is encouraged by strategic planning initiatives. Transformational leadership not only increases management capabilities but also encourages individual team members to perform optimally. A staple of transformational leadership is the belief that managers have in employee capabilities.

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Strategic Planning in Healthcare- Key Takeaways

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  • To develop strategic plans optimally extensive time and energy are required.
  • The health system overall is massively benefited from strategic planning processes.

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