Strategic Planning in Healthcare


The health care industry is constantly exhibiting changes and discoveries. The service provided in this industry, therefore, has to keep up with the changes to ensure the provision of quality health care for the people. This is also necessary so that the service providers are able to be ahead of the competition with other organizations offering similar services. Strategic planning is useful for organizations to meet these objectives (Begun, Kaissi & Sweetland, 2005).

The rationale for strategic planning

Processes that are used by organizations to come up with ideas for a brighter future, bearing in mind their limits and how the ideas can be actualized are referred to as strategic planning. The organization is able to critically evaluate the transformation that they require to undergo in order to remain successful and offer modern services as per the expectations of the people that will utilize their services. The decisions that the organization makes may be influenced by external as well as internal factors. When coming up with ideas for the future, creativity is of great importance. This will bring about long-term variety and efficiency in the performance of the organization. It will also ensure that the people working in the organization as well as those receiving services from the organization are satisfied. This way, the organization is able to advance in the industry and success will enable it to build a good reputation for itself (Morgan, 1997).

The planning process

Strategic planning comprises four steps. These are diagnosis, planning, implementation, and maintenance. In the diagnosis step, the organization does a thorough evaluation of its background. This includes an analysis of its visions and aspirations. It also looks into factors that could influence its performance. These factors may be political, cultural, political, or economic. In this stage, a review of the organization’s human resources is necessary. The results of the review will reveal the strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses and these are crucial to the planners when it comes to the definition of issues affecting the organization. Upon completion of diagnosis, viable options are analyzed. Prioritization is essential in this stage and the planner could use checklists, scoring, or congruence to assist in the establishment of priorities. When the priorities are established and decision-making about the viable options has been completed, implementation is the next step. In this phase, the organization will utilize various activities, processes, and tools to follow through with the implementation (Sathe, 1985).

The final phase involves the maintenance of the implemented programs. It is also referred to as management of the plans. As strategic planning will result in changes within the organization, measures must be put in place to ensure that the organization is able to handle changes experienced. In order to ensure that the planning is of desirable quality and that the implementation is well received, the whole process is supposed to be made formal. Strong commitments should also be made. The strategy is supposed to be well communicated to ensure it is understood by all within the organization. Sufficient time should be allowed for the whole process and there should be consistency. Constant evaluation and review of the process are very important. This will ensure that it sails through successfully and any resultant issues will be promptly handled (Sathe, 1985).

Types of decisions that organizations make to succeed

For an organization to succeed, decision-making is of great importance. The decisions made could be transactional, tactical, operational, or strategic in nature. Decisions of a tactical nature are vital to the organization. It is these decisions that ensure the sustainability of existing operations. They ensure that the organization is able to successfully achieve its objectives. These decisions also unlock synergies from the existing operations. They also ensure that the design and implementation of new systems and operations optimize the value that they will add to the organization. The four kinds of decisions made by organizations are usually intertwined. This means that weaknesses in one of them will negatively affect the others. When one kind of decision-making bears positive results, the effect will also be felt in the other kinds as decision-making will be made easier. It therefore very important that caution is exercised during any kind of decision-making in the organization. Research and consultation should also be done before any decision is made (Huband, 1992).


Strategic planning is important in health care organizations as well as other kinds of organizations. It is this planning that enables the organization to come up with new or improved ways of doing things. The result is efficacy and provision of better services. Strategic planning also ensures that the existing systems and operations in an organization are well maintained. This is important especially for cost-cutting and improved profits. When an organization is well run, its members of staff will be happy and they will therefore strive to give their best in all that they do. This is good for building the social well-being of the workers as they will feel valued and well taken care of (Begun, Kaissi & Sweetland, 2005).


Begun, J. W., Kaissi, A.A., & Sweetland, D,L. (2005) Journal of healthcare management; 50, 4; ABI/INFORM Global

Huband, E.A. (1992). ‘Developing effective management skills’, management accounting, vol. 74 No 1

Morgan, G. (1997). Images of organization, London: Sage Productions

Sathe, V., (1985) Culture and related corporate realities, Irwin, Illinois: Homewood