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What is strategic planning, really (4 mins).

What is Strategic Planning, really?

Before starting any strategic planning process, it is essential to make sure your staff or team members have the same expectations of what the outcomes will be. This video explains the different possible outcomes that can arise from strategic planning. It can range from simply having an articulated plan to a full-blown organizational transformation. Choose the result that is right for your organization.

For more resources on building your strategic plan, view the  Essentials Guide to Strategic Planning.

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Erica Olsen, with OnStrategy. Today’s whiteboard session is, what is strategic planning, really? And I wanted to do this whiteboard session because oftentimes we debate the merits of strategic planning and what it really is or isn’t. That’s a no-win discussion. What really matters is understanding what the strategic planning process needs to do for your organization now. One way to think about this is by asking what’s different because of the strategic planning process 12 months from now.

But, before I sort of jump into this, there is no right answer, there is just the right fit. Everybody on your executive team, or your board, or whomever the decision makers are in your organization, must you all agree on, “Yes, this is the outcome from the process and this is what strategic planning means to us at this place, in this time.”

Get the Free Guide to Build Your Strategic Objectives (with Examples!)

Outcome 1 – Articulated Plan The very first part of strategic planning is having an articulated plan. An articulated plan is very simply, where are we going and why. That’s the first place to start when you think about a strategic planning process – simply having a strategic plan that gives you focus.

Outcome 2 – Strategic Differentiation If you want the strategic plan to be strategic, you need to take it out to the next level of expression. This means adding in an understanding of your differentiation. What are we best at, where we’re going to play, how we’re going win. You need to do the research from a competitive perspective, a market perspective, and a customer perspective to answer those questions.

Outcome 3 – Organization Alignment The next expression of planning is aligning our organization around our plan. This answers what’s important right now and who must do what. What this looks like is taking the big ideas in your strategic plan, those big priorities you’re focusing on and breaking them down through the organization. Everybody wants organizational alignment, but taking this one step at a time is important. So, perhaps you articulate implementing one set of focus this year and then take it a step further in the next year.

Outcome 4 – Organizational Transformation So, we have a plan that’s strategic and our organization is aligned it. If we want to take it further and experience organizational transformation, we need to put a process around managing the plan so it doesn’t just sit on the shelf. It answers the question, “Are we making progress and do we need to adapt the strategy?”. So this is the agility part of having a strategic plan – having a static plan is a big complaint people have about strategic planning. Make it dynamic by putting a rhythm in place. We recommend a monthly or quarterly review process to talk about progress against plan, making adaptations, and feeding it throughout the organization.

So, different each outcome builds on each other. Having an articulated plan that focuses on your strategic differentiation, aligning your organization around your priorities, and driving the ongoing execution process will transform your organization.

With that, good luck, clarify your outcomes, happy strategizing.

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what is strategic planning for hospitals videos

Strategic Planning in Hospitals

The healthcare field is always changing and progressing at a rate unlike any other. Over the past few decades it has become more and more important to plan for the future in order for any healthcare practice to be successful for years to come. By planning for the unknown, hospitals, clinics, private practices and other organizations in the healthcare field can be better equipped for whatever may come along down the road.

From the financial side of running an organization , to structural decisions within the hospital or clinic, planning is a necessity. A hospital strategic plan allows for more efficiency in all aspects of the business of running a practice, no matter how big or small.

What is Strategic Planning in Healthcare?

Many people wonder what strategic planning is in healthcare and, fortunately, the answer is simple. Strategic health planning involves creating objectives and setting goals for where a company would like to go in the future, and then constructing a plan to achieve these objectives. In this industry especially, healthcare planning must take into account potential government policy changes, technological advancements and economic trends that could change an organization’s operations in a significant way.

The importance of strategic planning in healthcare should not go unnoticed by any hospital or health system looking to succeed not only in the short run, but long term as well.

One key factor that should be the basis to strategic planning in healthcare organizations is the organization of the institution. Understanding the organization of the institution and how this organization is necessary for the entire system to succeed is important in creating an effective plan with specific strategies.

Sometimes reevaluating who controls which aspects of the business, and the hierarchy that follows, can be beneficial.

Having a sound foundation in which the organization is built upon is important so that communication and ideas can flow freely while implementing strategic healthcare planning. Designing company goals and a path to achieve these objectives allows staff at every level, from administrators to physicians, to have a drive and passion that is extremely important in the medical field.

Benefits of Strategic Planning in Healthcare

The benefits of strategic planning in healthcare are numerous mainly because healthcare planning is composed of many components. Like most businesses, hospitals and healthcare institutions are operating at many levels. From patient care to financing, health systems need to plan for the future in more ways than one.

Unlike traditional plans, strategic planning takes into account what is to come for every sector of the organization, taking into account foreseeable changes for all departments.

The importance of strategic planning in healthcare is also seen when looking at an organization’s productivity. Most institutions believe that they are being as efficient as possible, however, taking a closer look at productivity can provide insight as to where improvements can be made and more specific plans can be set.

Some of the key areas that a hospital strategic plan can significantly improve include:

Questions At The Forefront Of All Healthcare Strategic Planning

Although every organization operates with a plan that is tailored to personal goals and objectives, hospitals and healthcare systems should ask themselves some crucial questions prior to strategic health planning.

What are the financial goals of the organization? Will the implemented changes have a positive impact on these goals?

Financial goals are different for every institution. Focusing on specific, attainable goals for the future of any organization’s finances is key in ensuring that the strategic plans that the organization makes will be beneficial in the long run.

Looking into the implications that the change that come with new plans for the future will have on finances is key in making strategic decisions.

Setting goals prior to strategic planning will help ensure these plans will positively impact the organization in the future.

Where can the organization grow?

Just because a hospital’s strategic plan is made does not necessarily mean that the plan is as effective as possible. Effective strategic plans take into account where an organization can grow. In some cases, growth is not possible in one area, but is in another. Healthcare institutions should look into the financial gains of growth through expansion in location, new access points, and services before beginning to plan.

What are the needs of the population that the organization serves? Will these needs change?

Healthcare systems and hospitals are designed to serve patients however they need. Although the demand for healthcare institutions will always be high, the way in which these institutions will be needed may change.

Understanding future market trends and industry directions is important in order to plan ahead for what patients will need.

How can the organization bridge the gap in achieving critical success factors?

Many times healthcare systems understand the success factors that are necessary to carry out the institution’s vision, but have difficulty implementing them in day to day functions. Strategic planning should incorporate a way to carry out these factors so that success can be achieved efficiently.

Understanding the Healthcare Market

The goals set by an organization cannot be carried out unless there are sound financial and organizational plans set in motion. Unfortunately, understanding the healthcare market is tricky when the system is so volatile. The cost of medical technology and other funds necessary to run a functional healthcare business is not steady.

Changes in policy and law occur periodically, increasing the need for strategic planning in healthcare. Without the proper knowledge it is not easy to know where prices are going, and in which areas to save. Evaluating which investments are more risky than others is important to ensure every decision made is one that will be beneficial down the road.

In order for any business, especially a hospital or medical practice, to stay afloat, long term goals must be determined and eventually met for the longevity of the business. To do so, an analysis of the local markets and the industry as a whole must be conducted to predict the future of these markets.

Being able to accurately predict forecasts is imperative when dealing with multi-million dollar funds. This is not an easy feat if data is not carefully considered, and strategic hospital and health planning has not been conducted thoroughly by those who fully know how to prepare for what is ahead.

healthcare professionals planning financial goals

The Strata Decision Solution: StrataJazz

At Strata Decision Technology, we have a knack for understanding medical markets and ensuring all future targets are seen through for our customers. We have created an all in one system, StrataJazz , which allows leaders in the healthcare industry to strategically plan for what is to come, increasing efficiency across the board.

In the United States, 1 in 5 hospitals have integrated our platform into their organization, resulting in maximum productivity at all levels. StrataJazz is the solution for all that encompasses strategic healthcare planning, like budgeting, tracking, equipment replacement, monthly variance, and productivity reporting.

StrataJazz incorporates our customers past and current data to better understand where  cost improvements  can be made and money can be saved. The Strata Decision experts take into account the organization’s goals, both financially and organizationally.

Through powerful analytics and tactful planning, StrataJazz provides operational budgeting and  capital planning strategies  that are guaranteed to improve how any healthcare organization functions from the ground up.

StrataJazz’s strategic hospital planning uses sophisticated models to determine a long term plan, by understanding operating margins. By incorporating investment goals and how they will likely impact the organization’s P&L, cash flow, and balance sheet, StrataJazz increases the predictability of how to save and where to invest. Short term impacts of market dynamics are analyzed, which can be helpful in understanding where the market may head.

We compare the company’s performance to the leaders in rating agency’s outlooks, including those of Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P. Organizational decisions will also be more accurate through case by case scenario analytics.

Key To Financial Stability

There is risk involved in any investing, but StrataJazz helps manage and assess risk to ensure a more stable financial future. Our system will predict what changes in reimbursements, salaries, and volume can do to performance.

Through analysis tools and scenario modeling, uncertainty in future markets can be minimized, allowing more strategic healthcare planning and decisions to be made. Rolling forecasting used by StrataJazz evaluates risk factors like discrepancies in bundled payments, mergers and acquisitions.

By providing timely and accurate monthly projections and key performance indicators, opportunities for improvements financially, in patient care, and in staff productivity are endless.

Strata Decision Technology has found the key to successful strategic healthcare planning. We have a passion for helping healthcare systems budget and create a long term hospital strategic plan to ensure a safe and successful future. Through detailed analytics and expert advice, StrataJazz will improve the financial status of any healthcare organization in the present and for the future.

We do the hard work for you, allowing you to focus on your number one priority: your patients.

what is strategic planning for hospitals videos


Are you looking for tips or insight into taking your planning process to the next level? If so, view our extensive library of published strategic event planning videos including videos filmed with Crown Plaza Resorts & Hotels, Inc. , The UPS Store , and more. Packed with highly useful information taking the strategic approach for planning meetings, conferences, incentive programs, product launches, tradeshows and more. Get ready to redefine excellence and improve your business.


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