Project – Planning

Barbara was recently hired as a regional manager for the Urgent Care Clinic Organization (UCCO). One of her first tasks is to compile a strategic plan for the executive committee to review. The overall goal of the strategic plan is to identify specific actionable items that can better position the clinic organization.

For this assignment on UCCO, complete a minimum 2-page summary to explain why the organization should devote time to planning and why a strategic plan is needed. 

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Visit the Rasmussen online Library and search for a minimum of 2 articles (attached)covering the topics What can a healthcare organization accomplish with the strategic planning process? 

· What would you recommend as areas of focus for Barbara’s strategic plan?

· Discuss how Barbara can achieve a balance between historical and current topics in healthcare? 

o How should she apply them for her strategic plan?

· What type(s) of primary and secondary research would you recommend Barbara conduct? What are the benefits? Explain.

· APA formatted reference page and in-text citations.

Strategic Management in Healthcare

Evidence-Based Care Sheet

By: Hillary Mennella, DNP, ANCC-BC Cinahl Information Systems, Glendale, CA Nathalie Smith, RN, MSN, CNP Cinahl Information Systems, Glendale, CA Edited by: Diane Pravikoff, RN, PhD, FAAN Cinahl Information Systems, Glendale, CA

What We Know

· The concept of strategic management was introduced in the 1950s in the business sector of certain industries (e.g., the automotive industry) as a result of long-term planning to forecast operating budgets. Healthcare organizations did not utilize strategicmanagement because they were independent entities that were reimbursed on a cost-plus basis. As the healthcare industry became more complex in the 1980s and 1990s, traditional methods of management were no longer appropriate. Although strategicmanagement in healthcare is a concept that was adopted during the last 30–35 years, a gold-standard definition for the concept is lacking in the literature. It is generally believed that strategic management in the healthcare industry continues to be underutilized in both private and public healthcare sectors(3,5,7,8,9,10)

· Strategic management is specific to each organization and is influenced by the unique culture of staff members, organizational needs, and the external environment. Strategic management should be flexible and evident in all levels of the organization. In general, strategic management can be defined as a framework or a philosophy that(3,5,7,8,9,10)

· unites the organization with a common sense of purpose and shared values(10)

· encourages innovation and change

· provides the organization with a clearly defined self-concept, goals, and the ability to recognize the need for change based on external dynamic factors (e.g., economic factors)

· provides an organization with external information for planning of activities regarding the organization’s direction and changes that should be made

· enhances overall coordination in the organization

· assists healthcare organizations in responding to state and federal health policies and legislative initiatives to improve quality of care and provide cost-effective care

· The three elements of strategic management are strategic thinking, strategic planning, and management of strategicmomentum. Incorporating these elements in the process of strategic management is critical to remaining competitive with social, technologic, political, and economic forces in the rapidly changing healthcare industry(5,10)

· Strategic thinking is an individual and intellectual process that involves generating new ideas, analyzing current assumptions and activities, envisioning the future and assessing the need for change, and forecasting the organization’s fit with external forces(8)

· Strategic planning is a key function of the management process and involves developing activities that will enable the achievement of the organization’s mission and vision. (For more information on strategic planning, see Evidence-Based Care Sheet…Strategic Planning ). Strategic planning involves the following:(10)

· Defining the purpose of the organization and its focus

· Establishing realistic goals and objectives that are in alignment with the mission statement of the organization

· Goals are measurable, obtainable, and retrievable. Objectives are more specific than goals and are designed to identify how and when goals will be achieved

· Identifying external stakeholders and evaluating their assessment of the organization’s purposes and operations

· Communicating goals and objectives to the organization’s constituents

· Creating a sense of ownership of the strategic plan

· Developing specific, simple, flexible, and realistic strategic action plans to obtain goals

· Utilizing the organization’s resources in the most effective manner

· Measuring progress

· Devising and initiating strategies for change based on information, as necessary

· Developing a consensus regarding the future of the organization

· Managing strategic momentum involves monitoring the performance of daily activities and tasks that are identified in each strategy as being necessary to reach the organization’s goals and objectives; this is usually the most challenging aspect of strategic managementStrategic momentum involves the actual work to be accomplished and evaluation of performance. Effective strategic momentum involves a learning process that relies on new strategic thinking and periodically performing new strategic planning

· All members of the healthcare organization, not just upper-level management and executives, should be involved in strategicthinking, strategic planning, and managing of strategic momentum for successful strategic management(5)

· Healthcare organizations often utilize separate processes for developing goals related to patient satisfaction, financial budgeting, and organizational planning. Although challenging, strategic management can be used to identify patient expectations as a first step in unifying the organization’s budgeting and planning processes by balancing patient value and cost (e.g., patient loyalty, cost of services). Effective strategic management necessitates that upper-level management understand patient concerns and perspectives at the departmental level, and the department managers should have a clear understanding of the organization’s mission and vision created by upper-level managementStrategic management involves participation in the following overlapping concepts:(8)

· Planning for what the organization wishes to accomplish by organizing and controlling assets; this step includes assessment of organizational goals and resources as they relate to the needs of the community

· Identifying areas of patient satisfaction and values to produce customer-valued goods and services; the organization should consider what patients want and what patients need

· Budgeting to tie future resource utilization with the work performed; resource allocation plans should be financially stable

· Healthcare systems are moving away from acquisition or management of physical assets to capital planning. Capital planning is a strategic management tool that augments existing patient services by developing additional services or expanding to wider geographic markets. Capital planning requires review of the health system’s long-term goals, projected needs (e.g., equipment), debt, and current and potential financial resources, and the projected time frame for spending(11)

· Misidentification of organizational goals by improper data analysis can hamper strategic management and adversely impact quality of care. Researchers have proposed using specially-designed analytic methods to evaluate “big data” (i.e., very large data sets) to identify clinical trends and future goals in healthcare organizations while conserving resources to achieve maximum strategicimpact(4)

· Nurse managers should be more involved in the process of strategic management. Investigators in a focus group study regarding nurse managers’ perceptions of implementing a health information technology (HIT) system found that nurse managers are often overburdened as a result of having only a fragmented concept of strategic management. The following five categories were identified by nurse managers to describe issues related to strategic management of the implementation of a HIT system:(9)

· HIT should be made an emphasis of strategy, and nurse managers should be trained in the HIT system; the nurse managers felt they had a duty to use the HIT system

· There was a lack of strategic management of information systems (e.g., underutilization of information systems in the organization)

· Problems in privacy protection and confidentiality were identified in HIT systems

· Although nursing manager roles were strengthened, implementation of the HIT system required strong management skills. For example, some nursing managers had to convince staff members that the HIT system was necessary

· Problems of cost in HIT were identified. For example, the nurse managers thought that the HIT system was expensive compared to its benefits

· In a review of the literature, authors concluded that the concept of strategic management is unclear to nurse managers, who have little control over strategies that drive the organization. Many healthcare organizations utilize a strategic management framework that focuses on profit-making as a goal; nurse managers should review the evidence in the literature regarding strategic management in order to understand how profit-making goals can be implemented using a patient-focused approach(7)

· A balanced scorecard (BSC), introduced to the health sector in 1992, is a performance measurement tool to assist organizations in implementing a strategic management plan into operation; BSCs can be customized to specific healthcare organizations’ goals and missions. Key performance indicators (KPIs; e.g., patient wait times) are developed to monitor organizational performance, improvement, and strategic alignment. Large organizations with numerous departments may require larger sets of KPIs to evaluate all strategic objectives(2)

· Healthcare organizations can implement flexible work schedules as a strategic management decision to retain and engage employees(1,6)

· As a result of the aging global population, there is a nursing shortage; there are substantial costs involved in training and replacing experienced nurses who leave the profession. Nurse executives should implement strategies to retain older nurses ≥ 45 years of age with high skill sets to successfully manage nursing workforce shortages. Strategies might include offering fewer or shorter shifts per week, minimizing physical labor, providing workplace exercise programs, and communicating value to the nursing profession and within the healthcare organization(6)

· In a multisample study of 695 employees in 12 departments of 9 large organizations, investigators found that organizations that provided flexibility for their employees’ work and non-work life demands (e.g., extra unpaid vacation days, input regarding overtime hours, flexible work schedules) achieved positive outcomes related to employee engagement and job performance(1)

What We Can Do

· Learn about strategic management in healthcare so you can better understand your organization’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives; share this information with your colleagues

· Collaborate with your organization’s managers to

· review your organization’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives to verify they are up to date and aligned with the changing external forces of the healthcare industry and with nursing management

· develop a framework for strategic planning and management in accordance with evidence-based research

· identify strategic management strategies that involve a patient-focused approach for change and improvement

· implement and manage activities to maintain strategic momentum

· periodically review strategic thinking and strategic plans and revise, as appropriate


1. Bal, P. M., & De Lange, A. H. (2015). From flexibility human resources management to employee engagement and perceived job performance across the lifespan: A multisample study. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology88(1), 126-154. doi:10.1111/joop.12082 (R)

2. Behrouzi, F., Shaharoun, A. M., & Ma’aram, A. (2014). Applications of the balanced scorecard for strategic management and performance measurement in the health sector. Australian Health Review38(2), 208-217. doi:10.1071/AH13170 (RV)

3. Carney, M. (2009). Enhancing the nurses’ role in healthcare delivery through strategic management: Recognizing its importance or not? Journal of Nursing Management 17(6), 707-717. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01018.x  (RV)

4. Desai, S. S., Wilkerson, J., & Roberts, T. (2016). Improving the success of strategic management using big data. World Hospitals and Health Services52(1), 49-51. (R)

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