Grady Health System is on their way to becoming one of the leading public healthcare systems in the United States. Grady Health System is said to improve the health of the community by providing quality care and comprehensive healthcare in a compassionate manner; They do this by having a strategic plan that is aligned with their mission and vision established for the organization. To remain profitable and ahead in health care, this is another reason it is important for one to have a strategic plan.
The strategic plan aligns with the mission and values within the organization. The mission is what provides a clear guide in making decisions, while the vision makes sure that the decisions made are aligned with the goals. Without a strategy in place, hospitals and practices will struggle to remain profitable and last long term in this industry. This is said to be the reason that medical practices are being acquired by hospitals and are merging with other practices within the community (Fry&Baum,2016). With a clear strategy that is effectively communicated and carefully implemented, the likelihood of success will increase. The way to achieve this is to set goals and develop a plan to achieve, this involves taking a step back from the normal operations and really think about where the business is headed and what its priorities should be.
What is a strategy?
Healthcare planning is made up of many elements. From patient care to financing, health systems need to plan and what better one than to have a strategy in place. A strategy is an outline which lays out the choices and direction of the practice. It is the strategy that identifies what services will be offered to patients within the practice and what services or products should be offered. Now if you want to successfully come up with a strategy, there are a few steps that must be outlined. You must clarify the vision, gather and analyze the information by understanding the needs of the organization, from there you formulate a strategy, then implement the strategy as this is the stage within the strategic management process. Lastly, once the strategy is successfully implemented you evaluate it to make sure to keep watch for any internal and external barriers that may hinder one from achieving their goals.
Strategic management developed from strategic planning to be used as a tool to recognize that things are always changing and to stay ahead of competition a company must reinvent themselves (Kaleba,2006). This allows the hospital leadership team to look at the old ways that they approached certain things and to consider a new way of thinking that could introduce innovative approaches. Strategic management will also restate the organization's mission and vision and redirect the hospital toward that direction. The hospital should be open to change. To do this, constantly managing and evaluating the strategy are the keys to success. A success that consist of three elements within the strategy, such as strategic thinking, strategic planning, and managing strategic momentum.
A vision to become the leading health system in the United States, Grady launched a mission to improve the quality of care within the community. Through strategic thinking and planning, health care organizations can take advantage of the available opportunities that offers clear purpose, support, resources, and commitment, as well as aid in overcoming the challenges to support efficient business operations (Fry&Baum,2016). Strategic thinking is the process of envisioning and developing a solution. When you think about something you brainstorm to come up with different approaches to meet the targeted goals. Strategic thinking is different from actual planning because with strategic planning one is creating the steps turning them into actions to deliver on the targeted goals.
Once the plan is implemented, we must make sure that it is properly managed. We have the goals and vision, now we must experiment with ways to implement them, and correct them as they go. If the strategy is not properly managed, then it is not destined to succeed. The main aim with this is to achieve the organization’s goals and we can do that by managing the strategy.
Now, we can manage the strategy by measuring the effectiveness on how the organization is doing against the market with the main aim of management being to keep strategic momentum. This involves overcoming specific barriers and doing the actual work to carry out certain goals. Doing all of this will result in supporting the decision-making process and the results. Also, to keep strategic momentum and ensure that the strategy is successfully carried out. This includes assuring that there is enough time to create the vision and that it is aligned with the goals, as well as the strategic plan. Next, making sure that the goals are achievable and can be easily managed. Lastly, after the plan is implemented, making sure the we review the progress so that we are on track with our goals and discuss any changes with the team, as well as making sure that everyone involved understands their roles.
How to achieve the strategic plan?
Now that we are aware of the mission and the vision, we must figure out the most effective way to achieve the strategic plan. One way is to consider using the SWOT analysis. With the SWOT analysis we can use this to see what we are doing right as an organization and what we can change going further. An organization can use the information to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that pertains to their growth, products and services, overall business objectives and the market competition.
The strengths are what gives the organization that competitive advantage and this category would include everything the business does right, such as achieving a specific goal, taking initiatives, and innovations. On the other hand, the weakness would fall in the line of things that keeps the business from staying on track to achieving their goals. These are the things that need to be fixed to be successful.
When we think about Grady Health System strengths, we want to focus on how its emergency services. Grady is Atlanta's number one trauma center and Atlanta's only Level 1 center that is the ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta (prnewswire.com). Out of the many service centers, Grady’s Ponce de Leon Center is one of the top HIV and AIDS outpatient clinics in the country. Grady is also Georgia's first adult acute care hospital to earn one of the highest ratings using health information technology to improve patient care and safety. They have an weakness in marketing, which is needed to improve their image and boost collaboration with other hospitals.
Opportunities and threats are a part of the external environment that effect the goal of the organization from the outside and could hinder their success. Some examples include, the economy, technology, rules and regulations, legislations, competition, and sociocultural changes. Opportunities could also be something that the organization could take advantage of to reach those goals and expand.
Over the years, Grady has struggled with some problems in leadership, debt and some complaints from consumers about poor care and treatment of patients. With their mission being to improve the quality of care in the community we need to also target ways and look for opportunities to connect with consumers to regain their trust with community support and expansion of service offerings, basically touching back on their strengths. Keeping ahead of the competition and drawing attention to the services could decrease potential threats.
In the end, by using SWOT to adapt a strategy it can aid in the exploring of new ventures in mergers or expanding added services or products. We can take this and plan how to invest money, while getting a better understanding of the competition, as well as focusing on the mission. SWOT analysis is an adaptable tool that can be applied to a variety of business situations, including ours.
Internal and External Barriers
The final part of the strategic plan is implementing. This is the part where the plan we created is put into action. Now that the plan is created, it becomes clear that not every part can be achieved at the same time. Limited resources and the time required to complete various tasks can impede completion of certain things (Kaleba,2006). The plan should be prioritized based on importance and the available resources. We also can’t forget about the potential barriers that could hinder the success. Some of the internal barriers that could affect the success of the strategic plan include:
- Inadequate planning
- Resistance to change
- Lack of leadership
- Unrealistic goals
- Lack of commitment
Some external barriers include:
- Lack of resources and funding
- Government restriction
- Economic conditions
For us to avoid these barriers when implementing our strategy, we should first get an understanding of our goals and the purpose for them. We must have strong and effective communication, along with active participation so that everyone involved is aware of the task at hand to get an understanding on where we see ourselves and how we plan to get there. We must also be consistent and if there is needed of any revision to the plan, making sure everyone is aware, and this goes back to strong and effective communication. It is also important to encourage change and keep the staff motivated as we prepare for the future.
As we prepare to make a change, we must think about the health care market as a whole to determine our target market. Some questions we must ask ourselves is who are we trying to target or what we plan to target, whether it still be low-income individuals, under-developed areas, or the generally care of all individuals, providing access to care. For years, many have praised Grady on their health services. The funding alone was provided by government agencies who handled the care of children, low income, and elderly individuals. We must also consider the demographics and how they will look in a few years, as well as innovative technology and what services are in demand.
Looking at health care today, we know that there has been an issue with the lack of accessibility to care, so we are going to make that our focus. We want to strive to make sure that care be provided to everyone, even though we are known as a trauma hospital that doesn’t take away from the needs of others. We want patients to be able to find local care and be able to afford it.
The best approach to this is making sure that we have the services needed to be offered. We could also conduct a survey and ask questions that address some of the issues that consumers may feel that some health care facilities are lacking and what they feel needs to be improved. We want to consider the opinions of the consumer because it will help with the strategic plan in determining our focal point for care.
In conclusion, a strategic plan is a road map to success for organizations. It is what shows an organization how to incorporate their mission and vision and should be carefully prepared and thought out. It aids in achieving the goal. Although, a strategic plan does not guarantee success, it increases the chances if structured properly. Given the importance of strategic planning, sometimes it can be difficult to implement and make decisions.
When it comes to Grady Health System, Grady values those efforts that influence and enhance the well-being of the overall healthcare community. They share a common mission in aiming to provide care to those all around with a strategic plan that focuses on their goals as they prepare for future challenges that may arise and look to explore new opportunities.
- Akbari, H., Dost, E. R., Kalani, N., Zarezadeh, N., Jokar, A., & Hojati, S. H. (2018). Reviewing the barriers to the implementation of the strategic plans from the perspective of hospital managers in Jahrom. Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, 16(3), 52–57. https://doi.org/10.5742/MEWFM.2018.93306
- Fry, A., & Baum, N. (2016). A Roadmap for Strategic Planning in the Healthcare Practice. The Journal of Medical Practice Management: MPM, 32(2), 146–149. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.libdatab.strayer.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=29944808&site=eds-live&scope=site
- Grady Health System Named 2018 CHIME HealthCare's Most Wired Recipient. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/grady-health-system-named-2018-chime-healthcares-most-wired-recipient-300742884.html
- Hensley, E. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2018/03/09/grady-memorial-hospital-wins-impact-award.html
- Kaleba, R. (2006). Strategic planning: getting from here to there. Healthcare Financial Management: Journal of The Healthcare Financial Management Association, 60(11), 74–78. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.libdatab.strayer.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=17094280&site=eds-live&scope=site
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