[ANSWERED 2023] Describe positive and negative aspects of abandoning traditional healthcare strategic planning

Written By: Dan Palmer, RN

Assignment:  This assignment has two parts: an essay and a business plan.

Describe positive and negative aspects of abandoning traditional healthcare strategic planning

Describe positive and negative aspects of abandoning traditional healthcare strategic

 

Describe positive and negative aspects of abandoning traditional healthcare

PART I – develop an essay to address the following information:

  • Reflect on the mission, vision, values, and goals of your healthcare organization and provide examples of how individual employees, departments, and work units support all four of these as a foundation for directional strategies.
  • Describe positive and negative aspects of abandoning traditional healthcare strategic planning processes and adopting a contemporary approach.
  • How does complexity influence budget strategies and their implementation? Give examples.
  • Discuss the process of external and internal environmental analyses, and then speculate on scenarios that may result if these steps in strategic planning are omitted or are not done well.
  • Discuss mechanisms that nurse manager can use to ensure they make the best decisions for supporting the financial goals of the organization.
PART II – develop a Business Plan
  • Identify an opportunity for implementing a new service or a cost-reducing idea in your organization and write a business plan to describe your idea: explain the need (why) for it, identify stakeholders (who) will be impacted, discuss the benefits versus the disadvantages, describe the costs/expenses for the idea, and outline the implementation plan.

Expert Answer and Explanation

PART 1: Strategic Healthcare Management

Planning is a concept that is used every day in our personal lives and the same behavior also translates into the management of organizations.  The top leadership of organizations usually formulate strategies to meet the mission and vision of their organization. It is important because with every organizational activity, risk and resources are usually involved and they have to be adequately managed lest the organization loses its ability to function properly. The purpose of this paper will be to expound on different aspects concerning the application of strategic management practices in healthcare.

Support for Mission Vision, Values, and Goals

The organization is usually driven by its mission, vision, values, and goals formulated. The efforts of all individuals and organs functioning within the organization should be aligned to realize the accomplishment of these elements. A mission statement is one that highlights where the organization is going (Cronin & Bolon, 2018). For example, the mission for the healthcare facility I work for is “to provide quality and compassionate healthcare accessible to everyone.

Vision on the other hand is the future position of where the organization wants to be, while the values are the beliefs and practices uphold by the organization (Lahey & Nelson, 2020). The values for the organization I work for include teamwork, integrity, excellence, innovation, and compassion. Our goals are aligned to meet the said mission and vision of the organization while using our core values during our transactions with other stakeholders.

The role of individual employees, departments, and work units in accomplishing this mission is to ensure that they channel all their efforts into fulfilling this mission. This includes identifying and removing any barriers that may hinder collaboration or promote conflicts due to differences in personal goals and objectives (Lahey & Nelson, 2020).

It is also the role of individual employees and work teams to collect information on behalf of the organization on what other competing organizations are doing to accomplish goals employees can also support all the four elements by ensuring that they align how they discharge their duties with the values of the organization.

Impact of Adopting a Contemporary Approach to Strategic Planning

Strategic planning was developed due to the increased complexity of how the economy and organizations operate (Esfahani et al., 2018). The used traditional approach was a systematic process that emphasized on the mission and vision of the organization without considering other factors as equally important.

The processes also involved coming up with the short term, medium, and long-term objectives, which were to be followed to the latter to gain a competitive edge. However, this approach had its drawbacks which made it be abandoned for a contemporary approach that was considered to be more responsive to the current business environment (Grube & Crnkovich, 2017).

One of the positive aspects of abandoning the traditional approach to strategic management and transitioning to the contemporary approach is that a more responsive process that factors in day to day operational issues is considered. This means that organizations can easily make adjustments to their strategic decisions based on the current changes in operations.

Another positive aspect of adopting a contemporary approach is that it treats strategic planning as a process and not an event (Grube & Crnkovich, 2017). This means that it is continuous and adjustable to changes in both the internal and external organization environment. The negative aspect is that the contemporary approach does not offer a predictable methodology or timeframe to strategic planning as it was with the traditional approach.

Budget Strategies

The current environment in the management of healthcare organizations has become more and more complex with increasing risks and stakeholders to transact with. This has also made healthcare financial managers restructure their methods to adjust to these complexities; this includes the budget-making process and implementation. One of the complexities has been the adoption of the contemporary approach to strategic planning that requires adjustment of organizational strategies with changes in the internal and external business environments (Walsh, 2016).

Given that these adjustments can be abrupt, it becomes difficult to forecast and give accurate budgetary figures in an environment of uncertainty (Hill, 2016). Another factor is the addition of more stakeholders involved in decision making. This means that more data needs to be collected to make accurate budgetary forecasts which can also be time-consuming (Hill, 2016). As such, there is also a likelihood that the budget implementation timelines will also be affected.

Process of External and Internal Environmental Analyses

In the strategic management process, one of the core steps is to carry out an internal and external organization analysis. This allows the organization to collect its efforts in response to the findings of the two analyses. The process of carrying out environmental analysis is a five-step process that includes; first an analysis of the external environment (Esfahani et al., 2018). This involves evaluating the political social, economic, legal, environmental, and technological factors that may affect the organization and its processes.

The next step is to analyze the industry and organization’s competitors, including how they operate, what they are doing differently, and what can be learned from them. The third step is to establish any external factors that can pose a threat to the organization, for example, a new product developed by the competitor, and opportunities that can be capitalized by the organization, for example, the adoption of new technology.

After doing so, an analysis of the internal organizational strengths and weaknesses needs to be undertaken, and finally noting down the collected information and establishing the need for strategic action (Esfahani et al., 2018)

If these steps are omitted in the strategic planning process, the organization is likely to formulate strategies that are not helpful in the accomplishment of its goals and the needs of its stakeholders. A scenario example is when an external analysis is omitted, this means that the organization may develop strategies that fail to adhere to the current industry regulations, which will mean that the organization’s operations have a risk of being conducted illegally.

Mechanisms a Nurse Manager Can Use to Make Best Decisions

Nurse managers are supposed to make sound decisions that are going to be in line with the goals of the organization, including financial goals. Some of the mechanisms which can be adopted to assist in doing so include the following. One of the mechanisms is the adoption of a lean thinking approach to decision-making. This is a quality management technique that involves creating processes that have as minimal waste as possible but at the same time making sure that the quality of services is retained at optimum (Magalhães et al., 2016).

By using this approach, a nurse manager can improve the efficiency of resource utilization through waste reduction. Another mechanism is by application of knowledge management systems. These are systems that collect information from the organization which in turn facilitates proper decisions to be made (Tretiakov et al., 2017). Using this approach, resources will only be used in those areas where they are needed based on the collected data.

Conclusion

This paper has highlighted different aspects concerning strategic management and planning. It has been established that the aspect of strategic planning has changed with the process becoming more dynamic and as a result complex. The complexities have in turn affected organizational processes such as budgeting which need to be factored in to successfully manage the organization. Using the collected information, one can learn how to adjust to ensure successful management of the organization.

References

Cronin, C. E., & Bolon, D. S. (2018). Comparing hospital mission statement content in a changing healthcare field. Hospital topics96(1), 28-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/00185868.2017.1366188

Esfahani, P., Mosadeghrad, A. M., & Akbarisari, A. (2018). The success of strategic planning in health care organizations of Iran. International journal of health care quality assurance. Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 563-574. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-08-2017-0145

Grube, M., & Crnkovich, P. (2017). giving a consumer focus to strategic planning: Having a strong consumer focus has become a fundamental organizational competency in today’s US healthcare system. Healthcare Financial Management71(11), 44-51. Retrieved from: https://www.hfma.org/topics/article/56575.html

Hill, L. E. (2016). Pioneering a rolling forecast: a North Carolina health system that switched from a traditional to a rolling budget process found the conversion offered a unique perspective of its financial picture. Healthcare Financial Management70(11), 58. Retrieved From https://www.stratadecision.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Pioneering-a-Rolling-Forecast_HFM.pdf

Lahey, T., & Nelson, W. (2020). A Dashboard to Improve the Alignment of Healthcare Organization Decision-making to Core Values and Mission Statement. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics29(1), 156-162. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0963180119000884

Magalhães, A. L. P., Erdmann, A. L., Silva, E. L. D., & Santos, J. L. G. D. (2016). Lean thinking in health and nursing: an integrative literature review. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1518-8345.0979.2734

Tretiakov, A., Whiddett, D., & Hunter, I. (2017). Knowledge management systems success in healthcare: Leadership matters. International journal of medical informatics97, 331-340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.11.004

Walsh K. (2016). Managing a Budget in Healthcare Professional Education. Annals of medical and health sciences research6(2), 71–73. https://doi.org/10.4103/2141-9248.181841

PART II: Business Plan

One of the steps in business strategy development is the identification of problem areas or gaps that can be improved to enhance the efficiency of the quality of services rendered. Prudent leaders will always seek to continuously improve their organizations to respond to changes in the environment and ensure that the efficiency of processes is enhanced and this includes cost-efficiency. The purpose of this paper will be to give an elaborate business plan of a quality improvement initiative that will reduce organizational costs through the reduction of unnecessary paperwork.

Rationale for the Idea

One of the expenses the organization faces includes the amount spent on stationery, more so papers. The health care facility still uses a manual system of documentation which is considered not only inefficient in terms of costs but also time. Similarly, the manual system of documentation is also prone to errors where nurses or other care providers can fail to capture important pieces of information from patients (Whitley et al., 2018).

That is why this business plan will propose the adoption of an Electronic Health Recording system which is will eliminate a substantial amount of paperwork, thereby reducing costs, documentation errors and also enhance efficiency in the collection of patient information.

Impacted Stakeholders

There are going to be several stakeholders who are going to be affected by the change idea. One of them being the health care personnel who are going to use the system. They will be affected because the new system will require them to be technologically adept given that the manual reporting system will be abolished.

As such they will have to receive new training to gain the skillset required to utilize the implemented system. Another affected stakeholder is the patient who is going to enjoy improved services due to increased efficiency and accuracy brought as a result of adopting the new EHR system. The organization leadership is also going to be affected, given that they may be required to hire new informaticists to assist in the management of the new system.

Benefits Versus the Disadvantages

The application of the EHR system has been widely appraised for its numerous advantages. According to Barrett and Stephens (2017), the use of EHR has been hailed to reduce the workload faced by healthcare professionals by simplifying the collection and retrieval of patient information. When compared to the manual system, the electronic-based system will allow care providers to process many patients within a short period. The electronic recording system will also reduce the number of errors that are common in the manual system (Whitley et al., 2018).

EHR systems are more precise and accurate as compared to the manual recording system which in turn has a positive impact on the outcomes of patients served. The electronic system is also more secure and less prone to tampering or destruction of documents/information. The cost-benefit of this system is that it only needs to be procured once and can be reused for a very long time without incurring any expenses to maintain if properly used (Yee et al., 2020). The approach also has minimal wastes in the form of used papers, and save a lot of space in terms of storage, as compared to the bulky filing system currently used.

In terms of disadvantages, the EHR system requires a substantial amount of initial capital to implement which can be a burden to the organization (Yee et al., 2020). The system will also require skilled personnel to operate which the organization may currently not have, thus requiring more resources to train them to facilitate proper usage (Barrett, 2018).

The electronic-based system also comes with security challenges, including internal and external hacking of the system or corruption of the data by malicious software. That being the case, the system still possesses more advantages when compared to the manual system and should therefore be considered for adoption.

Costs for the Idea

Implementing the new EHR system will require a substantial amount of initial investment but in the long run, the project will reap great benefits for the organization, which far outweighs the cost implications (Yee et al., 2020). One of the expenses that will be incurred from the project is the expense required to procure the EHR equipment. This will take the biggest chunk of the incurred expenses. Another expense will be the cost required to train the care personnel who will use the EHR system.

Given that the facility will be transitioning to a completely new platform, then the healthcare personnel will have to be trained to properly utilize it. Another cost implication is the expense required to hire new informaticians who will facilitate the implementation and maintenance of the new system. The last cost implication involves putting the correct security systems in place to prevent any external attack that may expose the system.

Implementation Plan

The implementation of the new system will use the PDCA model which involves planning (Chen et al., 2020), that is identifying the required resources needed and the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the new system. The second step is doing which involves the actual implementation of the system. The third step is checking whether there are any issues that hinder the system from functioning as it should and lastly acting to eliminate any of those issues which have been identified.

Conclusion

This paper has identified a suitable business plan that will assist the organization save on costs and improve the quality and efficiency in terms of service provision. The cost-benefit analysis indicates that the idea is viable and will prove beneficial in the long-run to the organization and its stakeholders.

References

Barrett, A. K. (2018). Electronic health record (EHR) organizational change: explaining resistance through profession, organizational experience, and EHR communication quality. Health communication33(4), 496-506. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2016.1278506

Barrett, A. K., & Stephens, K. K. (2017). Making electronic health records (EHRs) work: Informal talk and workarounds in healthcare organizations. Health Communication32(8), 1004-1013. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2016.1196422

Chen, Y., Zheng, J., Wu, D., Zhang, Y., & Lin, Y. (2020). Application of the PDCA cycle for standardized nursing management in a COVID-19 intensive care unit. Annals of Palliative Medicine9(3), 1198-1205. DOI: 10.21037/apm-20-1084

Whitley, P., Ennis, E., Taaca, N., Sneha, S., Shahriar, H., & Zhang, C. (2018). Reduction of Medical Errors in Emergency Medical Care. In Proceedings of the 19th Annual SIG Conference on Information Technology Education (pp. 160-160). https://doi.org/10.1145/3241815.3241884

Yee, S. W. Y., Gutierrez, C., Park, C. N., Lee, D., & Lee, S. (2020). Big Data: Its Implications on Healthcare and Future Steps. In Impacts of Information Technology on Patient Care and Empowerment (pp. 82-99). IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0047-7.ch005

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Why is Strategic Planning Important in Healthcare?

Strategic planning plays a vital role in shaping the future of any organization, and the healthcare industry is no exception. With the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, the ability to anticipate and adapt to challenges is crucial for long-term success. In this article, we will explore the factors affecting strategic planning in healthcare, discuss the traditional and contemporary approaches to strategic control, provide examples of strategic planning in healthcare, outline the seven steps to healthcare strategic planning, and highlight the benefits it brings to the industry.

I. Introduction

Strategic planning refers to the process of defining an organization’s direction and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this direction. In healthcare, strategic planning involves setting goals, identifying strategies, and formulating action plans to address the complex challenges faced by healthcare organizations. It provides a roadmap for achieving the desired outcomes and ensures that the organization is prepared to navigate the dynamic healthcare environment.

II. Factors Affecting Strategic Planning in Healthcare

Several factors influence strategic planning in healthcare:

A. Changing Healthcare Landscape

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving due to advancements in medical technology, evolving patient needs, and changes in healthcare policies. Strategic planning helps organizations stay ahead of these changes by identifying emerging trends, understanding their implications, and developing strategies to leverage opportunities or mitigate risks.

B. Government Regulations and Policies

Government regulations and policies significantly impact the healthcare sector. Strategic planning enables organizations to align their operations and services with regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance and avoiding penalties. It also helps healthcare providers anticipate policy changes and proactively adapt their strategies to remain competitive and provide quality care.

C. Technological Advancements

Rapid advancements in technology have revolutionized healthcare delivery. From electronic health records to telemedicine, innovative technologies are reshaping the industry. Strategic planning enables healthcare organizations to assess the impact of these technologies on their operations, identify areas for improvement, and leverage technology to enhance patient care, streamline processes, and improve outcomes.

D. Financial Constraints

Financial constraints pose significant challenges to healthcare organizations. Strategic planning allows for the allocation of resources in a way that maximizes efficiency and effectiveness. It helps organizations identify cost-saving opportunities, explore alternative revenue streams, and make informed decisions about resource allocation to ensure financial sustainability.

E. Patient Expectations and Demographics

Patients are becoming increasingly informed and demanding when it comes to their healthcare. Strategic planning helps healthcare organizations understand the needs and preferences of their patient population. It enables the development of patient-centered strategies that enhance the patient experience, improve satisfaction, and build long-term patient loyalty.

III. Traditional vs Contemporary Approach to Strategic Control

Strategic control refers to the mechanisms and processes used to monitor and evaluate the implementation of strategic plans. There are two primary approaches to strategic control in healthcare: the traditional approach and the contemporary approach.

A. Traditional Approach to Strategic Control

The traditional approach to strategic control in healthcare typically involves a top-down hierarchical structure. Decision-making is centralized, and long-term planning is emphasized. However, this approach may lack flexibility in adapting to rapid changes in the healthcare landscape.

B. Contemporary Approach to Strategic Control

The contemporary approach to strategic control in healthcare focuses on collaborative decision-making and agile strategies. It involves engaging stakeholders at all levels of the organization in the planning and implementation processes. Continuous monitoring and feedback mechanisms are put in place to ensure strategies remain relevant and effective in the face of evolving challenges.

IV. Examples of Strategic Planning in Healthcare

Strategic planning is evident in various aspects of healthcare. Here are some examples:

A. Integration of Technology in Healthcare Delivery

Healthcare organizations are leveraging technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery. Strategic planning facilitates the seamless integration of technologies such as electronic health records, telemedicine, and artificial intelligence to enhance patient outcomes, streamline workflows, and improve communication among healthcare providers.

B. Improving Patient Experience and Satisfaction

Strategic planning focuses on enhancing the patient experience and satisfaction. Healthcare organizations develop strategies to improve access to care, reduce waiting times, provide personalized care, and enhance communication with patients. These initiatives aim to improve patient outcomes and foster long-term patient loyalty.

C. Enhancing Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety

Strategic planning plays a critical role in improving healthcare quality and patient safety. Organizations establish goals and action plans to implement evidence-based practices, monitor clinical outcomes, reduce medical errors, and ensure compliance with quality standards. By doing so, they enhance patient safety and deliver high-quality care consistently.

D. Addressing Population Health Management

Healthcare organizations are increasingly adopting population health management strategies to improve the health outcomes of the communities they serve. Strategic planning enables organizations to identify population health needs, develop preventive care programs, coordinate care across different settings, and address social determinants of health.

E. Building Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

Strategic planning facilitates the identification and development of strategic partnerships and collaborations. Healthcare organizations form alliances with other providers, payers, community organizations, and technology companies to enhance service offerings, share resources, and address complex healthcare challenges collectively.

V. Seven Steps to Healthcare Strategic Planning

Effective healthcare strategic planning involves the following seven steps:

A. Conducting a Thorough Analysis of the Healthcare Environment

This step involves assessing the internal and external factors that impact the organization. It includes conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, evaluating market trends, understanding patient demographics, and analyzing the competitive landscape.

B. Defining the Organization’s Mission, Vision, and Values

A clear mission, vision, and set of values provide a foundation for strategic planning. This step involves defining the organization’s purpose, identifying its long-term aspirations, and establishing guiding principles that shape decision-making.

C. Setting Strategic Goals and Objectives

Strategic goals and objectives define what the organization aims to achieve in the long term. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This step involves identifying key focus areas, aligning them with the mission and vision, and setting objectives that guide the organization’s strategic initiatives.

D. Developing Strategies and Action Plans

Strategies outline the approaches and tactics that the organization will employ to achieve its goals. Action plans provide a detailed roadmap of specific activities, timelines, and responsible parties. This step involves brainstorming strategies, evaluating their feasibility, and developing action plans that ensure accountability and progress tracking.

E. Implementing the Plans and Monitoring Progress

Execution is a critical component of strategic planning. This step involves implementing the action plans, allocating resources, and monitoring progress. Regular monitoring allows for course corrections, identifying bottlenecks, and addressing emerging challenges.

F. Evaluating and Adjusting Strategies as Needed

Strategic planning is an iterative process. This step involves evaluating the effectiveness of implemented strategies, collecting feedback, and adjusting the plans as needed. Regular evaluation ensures that the organization remains agile and responsive to changes in the healthcare landscape.

G. Communicating and Engaging Stakeholders

Effective communication and stakeholder engagement are essential for successful strategic planning. This step involves sharing the strategic goals, progress, and outcomes with internal and external stakeholders. Engaging stakeholders fosters alignment, gathers valuable insights, and garners support for the strategic initiatives.

VI. Benefits of Strategic Planning in Healthcare

Strategic planning offers several benefits to healthcare organizations:

A. Alignment of Organizational Goals and Resources

Strategic planning aligns organizational goals with available resources. It ensures that the allocation of resources, including financial, human, and technological, is optimized to achieve the desired outcomes.

B. Improved Decision-Making and Resource Allocation

By providing a clear roadmap and actionable plans, strategic planning facilitates informed decision-making and resource allocation. It enables organizations to prioritize initiatives, evaluate risks, and make data-driven decisions that support the long-term sustainability of the organization.

C. Enhanced Organizational Performance and Efficiency

Strategic planning enhances organizational performance and efficiency. It fosters a culture of continuous improvement, streamlines processes, eliminates redundancies, and promotes collaboration across different departments and disciplines.

D. Increased Adaptability to Changes in the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Strategic planning enables organizations to anticipate and adapt to changes proactively. It helps organizations stay ahead of emerging trends, leverage new opportunities, and navigate challenges effectively.

E. Improved Patient Outcomes and Satisfaction

Patient-centered strategic planning initiatives result in improved patient outcomes and satisfaction. By focusing on enhancing the patient experience, organizations deliver care that meets patients’ expectations, improves health outcomes, and fosters long-term patient loyalty.

VII. Conclusion

In conclusion, strategic planning is of paramount importance in healthcare. It allows organizations to navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry, adapt to changing environments, and achieve long-term success. By considering the factors affecting strategic planning, embracing contemporary approaches to strategic control, and implementing healthcare-specific strategies, organizations can drive positive change, enhance patient outcomes, and ensure a sustainable future.

VIII. FAQs

  1. What are the key factors affecting strategic planning in healthcare? The key factors affecting strategic planning in healthcare include changing healthcare landscape, government regulations and policies, technological advancements, financial constraints, and patient expectations and demographics.
  2. What is the difference between the traditional and contemporary approaches to strategic control? The traditional approach involves a top-down hierarchical structure and long-term planning, while the contemporary approach emphasizes collaborative decision-making, agility, and continuous monitoring and feedback.
  3. Can you provide examples of strategic planning in healthcare? Examples of strategic planning in healthcare include the integration of technology in healthcare delivery, improving patient experience and satisfaction, enhancing healthcare quality and patient safety, addressing population health management, and building strategic partnerships and collaborations.
  4. What are the seven steps to healthcare strategic planning? The seven steps to healthcare strategic planning include conducting a thorough analysis of the healthcare environment, defining the organization’s mission, vision, and values, setting strategic goals and objectives, developing strategies and action plans, implementing the plans and monitoring progress, evaluating and adjusting strategies as needed, and communicating and engaging stakeholders.
  5. What are the benefits of strategic planning in healthcare? The benefits of strategic planning in healthcare include alignment of organizational goals and resources, improved decision-making and resource allocation, enhanced organizational performance and efficiency, increased adaptability to changes in the healthcare industry, and improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.

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