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Strategic Planning in Health Care Essay

The following document will describe strategic plan in health care and why it should be implemented. It will also describe the plan that the health care sector should use and the way that it should be implemented. It will also describe the plan as a strategy that will position the health care center in the middle of the resistance that it faces. Strategic planning has become one of the areas of study that is important in today’s organizations as it is considered to be a tool of success. This is because there is more intense competition surrounding all organizations and businesses as well.

When a firm or an organization decides to engage in strategic planning it is for the purpose of defining its objectives and make assessments on internal and external situations, come up with the strategy, implement it, make evaluations on the progress and finally can make changes on it in order to be on the track. (John C. Camillus, 1986) Introduction Strategic planning has remained to be the most important tool that is used in management. This is the same tool that helps the systems of the hospital to cope with the contingencies that keep arising in the environment of health care.

Many health care centers have been encouraged to practice strategic planning so that they can survive through the chaos that can pop up and to enable them to be in a successful position in the future. There has been a lot of competition that has been building up in the health care sector, and this has been marked by economic shifts incentives, changes in the regulatory body and this have clearly shown why it is important to use the strategic planning program. For an organization to move from a position that is desired it has to implement the use of the plan.

According to Zuckerman he suggested that strategic planning consists of four stages namely: • Environmental assessment • organizational direction • strategy formulation, and • Finally implementation planning. (Fred L. Fry, Charles R. Stoner, Laurence G. Weinzimmer, 1999) Environmental Assessment The process involves performing analysis on the internal part of the environment, industry’s or task environment and finally the macro environment. This will help the health care centers to identify the weaknesses that they have within the organization.

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The internal will help in the identification of the weaknesses and strengths while the external will help in revealing the opportunities and threats that the centers face. The analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can be generated in an analysis called the SWOT. This activity also includes looking at other circumstances that are surrounding by the environment like political, economic, social and technical activities. Those who plan the strategy should look at the forces that drive the environment like competition increase, changing demographics. The SWOT analysis should also be reviewed in regard to the organization.

This is often carried out when the reviewing of the missions, visions and statement values. The other reason that the environment assessment is done is because the structure of the environment keeps changing brought about by the increase in size and segmentation, changes in growth patterns and maturity, changes in patterns and emergence of other things like the niches, dimensions that are international and attractiveness that is relative. The SWOT should work to “build on strengths, resolve the weaknesses that appear, find ways to exploit opportunities and finally avoid any threats that are likely to occur” (Rothwell, 1991).

Organizational Direction This process involves the process of identifying the organizational vision and the mission that the company intends to carry out. The mission statement involves telling about the purpose of the organization in a fundamental way. Its focus is on the present. It also focuses on the level of performance that it desires. The vision statement involves telling about what the organization wants to be. Its focus is on the future and also acts as a source of inspiration. It is also a criterion that is used for decision making.

This is usually the first step in the strategic planning process. These statements are also classified as unchanging and describe the purpose of the organization. The organization should review the missions and the visions that it intends to have so as to have a clear organization direction. (Roger L. Kemp, 1993) Strategy Formulation This is the process of matching the strengths to the opportunities and at the same time addressing the weaknesses tan it faces and the threats that are likely to occur. This involves drawing of the plan. The annual plan is usually developed.

It often includes goals that are strategic, objectives that the organization has, responsibilities that will be assigned to everyone in the organization and timelines that are supposed to be done in the course of the year. This could include the organization dividing the responsibilities to departments that are available in the organization, functions defined in every departments and this is the process of defining the work plans. Budgets are usually included in the strategic formulation in order to determine the amount of money that is expected to be in use if there are no threats that will occur.

Implementation Planning The strategy that has been formulated is finally implemented. This is done by coming up with a plan to motivate the employees and use of the resources that are available top the organization and it is usually done by writing down these strategies. This is important because the implementation will determine the success of the strategic plan. The strategy should be communicated to the employees so that they are aware of the objectives and goals of the organization and help in the achievement of it. If the strategy is misunderstood then the implementation is likely to fail.

If the employees resist the plan then the implementation is also likely to fail. There are various ways that the employees can be motivated and they include raise in their salaries, rewarding those that perform well in the organization and giving credit where it is due. The other way that the implementation should take place is communication with senior managers about the strategy and it is the time to have a consultation with them. This is to give them the chance to make contributions to the plans that have been documented.

This is important because if they do not understand the plan, then implementation will be difficult. The other thing that should be done is making changes as quickly as possible if any. This will make the plan to answer some key questions about the priorities that the organization has and also the directions that it is taking. There should be no conflicts at this stage because the conflicts can cause damage to the process of implementation. It will also undermine the importance of the strategic plans prepared by the committee.

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