1 Strategic Plan for East Georgia Regional Medical Center Strategic Planning and Development Instructor: Donna Levesque Dave Thomas October 25, 2021 2 Strategic Plan for East Georgia Regional Medical Center Background Information Strategic plans help in keeping organizations on track. The process of strategic planning is equally important as the strategic plan itself as it affords facilities the opportunities to step back and scrutinize their operations and activities to determine strong and weak areas. This will then ensure the organization s continuous improvement to keep up with the constantly evolving healthcare world. This paper focuses on the East Georgia Regional Medical Center (EMC), developing its strategic plan for the next five years. EMC has been a leading healthcare facility in the South East side of Georgia ever since its inception over a century ago. The facility has provided generations of families within the Statesboro area and within the neighboring communities with high-quality care. It is equipped with 149 private patient rooms, a women s pavilion, and an outpatient diagnostic imaging center. EMC also has a wide array of professionals with over 800 employees and more than 100 physicians from different specialties. Its emergency department is operational 24 hours and is classified as a level II neonatal center (EGRMC, n.d). Notably, the healthcare facility has achieved the highest standards of quality evidenced by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations accreditation it has received. The Joint Commission and the America Stroke Association have also awarded EGRMC the Primary Stroke Center title in 2020 (EGRMC, n.d). Still, on the high standards of quality care, the facility received the award for the Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation in 2019 from the American College of Cardiology. Strategic Management of EGRMC 3 Strategic management in healthcare revolves around the goal and objective setting to make an organization more successful. These plans then provide the direction and the momentum for change within the healthcare environment. Strategic management in the healthcare field has three components: strategic thinking, strategic planning, and the management of strategic momentum (Nickols, 2016). These three components are mutually dependent. The success of one of the elements affects the success of the other. Strategic Thinking Strategic thinking refers to the process of thought acknowledging the need for change. Strategic thinking managers can effectively evaluate the shifting environment, analyze data within the changing environment, question traditions, and develop new ideas (Salavati et al., 2017). Strategic managers have to be strategic thinkers and question what they are doing currently that they should stop doing. They should also question what they should introduce to the healthcare facility and what they are doing that could be done in a different way to achieve success. Strategic thinking for this facility revealed a need to increase the market share of the establishment to increase profitability. There is also the need to increase the facility s competitiveness that will again aid in increasing its market share. Strategic Planning Strategic planning, which is the second element of strategic management, revolves around developing steps that would help accomplish or implement the ideas developed in the strategic thinking process (Nickols, 2016). It helps the healthcare facility better understand where it currently stands, its future position, and the steps it can take to ensure that it achieves its future desired position. Strategic planning requires a situational analysis, which helps understand the facility s external and internal environment influencing its competitiveness. In the situational 4 analysis, SWOT analysis was used as the analytical tool suitable for use as an adaptive strategy most effective in helping EGRMC achieve its strategic plan. The SWOT analysis provides a view of the internal and external environment of the organization (Benzaghta et al., 2021). The internal environment represents the environment within which the facility operates. This has a significant influence on the performance of EGRMC. The SWOT analysis takes an approach of exploring the facility s strengths and weaknesses to understand the internal environment. EGRMC has several strengths that it seeks to build upon. One of its strengths lies in able leadership in terms of the CEO and a substantive board. These groups of people help provide visionary leadership to the facility and provide good direction for the future growth of the facility. The other strength lies in the diversity of team members and departments. The facility is all-encompassing with a diverse range of services, which has helped it gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, qualified practitioners provide the patients with the best levels of care. The hospital also leverages technology to improve the delivery of care. There are modern technological tools that ensure all the patients receive timely care resulting in positive patient outcomes. The accreditations the facility has received from various reputable bodies also strengthen its reputation as a leader in providing healthcare in South East Georgia. The weaknesses identified include limited information sharing within the healthcare facility. There are also inadequate infrastructural facilities, which are integral for expanding the healthcare facility to accommodate the increasing demand. Summarily, the internal environment analysis of EGRMC reveals that the facility has adequate staff members to fulfill its current capacity. However, there is inadequate communication between departments, which impedes care coordination, the delivery of healthcare, and consequently communication to the patients. This 5 has led to the loss of market share as patients will tend to go to establishments where they feel adequate communication. The SWOT analysis analyzes the external environment by looking at the opportunities and threats for the organization. The opportunity for the organization is an increased demand for the healthcare services provided at EGRMC, although the facility fails to have the adequate capacity to handle this increasing demand. The other opportunity in the external environment is the availability of collaboration opportunities for the healthcare facility to increase its capacity and tend to the increasing demand. The major threat identified lies in the area of information security. With the increased adoption of technological tools within the facility, there are likely to be cybersecurity threats that make information shared within the healthcare facility vulnerable. The mission of the facility is to provide quality healthcare services in a safe and compassionate environment. The vision is to be the premier regional provider of a continuum of healthcare services. (EGRMC, n.d). The review of the facility s mission and vision helped identify various strategic issues, which are integral in the strategic planning stage that the facility will have to address. While the strategic issues are plenty, this strategic plan will cover only two areas that the members of the strategic planning workshop identified as urgent and integral in the facility s continuous improvement. One of the strategic issues is poor information sharing between departments and among the stakeholders. This strategic issue leads to a dissatisfied client base and poor outcomes in the continuum of care. The Leapfrog ratings provide an example of poor information sharing to different stakeholders of the facility. The July 2021 ratings show different strong and weak areas for the organization. The ratings show that the organization has performed exemplary well in preventing and responding to patient harm. However, the hospital had limited achievement in maternity care 6 while declining to respond to pediatric care, complex adult and pediatric surgery, care for elective outpatient surgery patients. Leapfrog Organization (n.d) notes that patients should be more concerned with hospitals that decline to respond to some elements since it indicates that the hospitals are hiding something from the patients. Thus, declining to respond to the Leapfrog ratings is one thing that the healthcare facility is doing that it should stop. The second strategic issue is limited institutional capacity. The hospital needs to increase its capacity so that it can handle more in-patients than it currently does. This will necessitate an increase in the number of staff. There is also a need to expand and strengthen EHR for efficient service delivery within the healthcare facility. Lastly, there is the element of managing strategic momentum, which refers to the management of the strategy initially established to achieve the health care facility s objectives. Healthcare organizations can create strategic plans but fail to implement the strategies, which is detrimental to the organization s progress. The hospital will restructure the EHRS to allow better access to information for both the patient and the coordinated care team. There is also the plan to hold regular training on EHR operations. The training will take place every three months for all staff members to ensure that they are up to date with any changes within the systems. Quinn et al. (2019) note that restructuring EHRS to accommodate more functions and carry out regular training improves data sharing and ultimately the patients diagnostic and entire treatment process. The quality assurance department will also be tasked with reporting effectively without declining to respond to any surveys relating to the patient s safety. This improved communication will ensure that all stakeholders can access information regarding the facility without bias, improving the stakeholders trust in the facility. The second strategic issue s objectives involve expanding the hospital infrastructure to accommodate more private rooms and 7 beds. This will include having more buildings, staff, and medical equipment to take care of the expansion. Barriers to Success of the Proposed Plan and the Solutions Strategic managers in healthcare facilities must recognize the presence of various internal and external barriers that may impede the success of their strategic plans. The biggest common internal factor that could be a barrier to success is resistance to change. Change is always an uncomfortable element, and employees may find it hard to change their doing things. The solution to dealing with this internal factor is for the organizational leaders to involve the employees from the beginning. This calls for employee meetings where they understand the need and the importance of the change. The employees also become part of the strategic thinkers. Involving employees in change management makes them more receptive and willing to adopt a sense of a shared vision and goals. Another of the internal barriers may be inadequate training of the staff members, which may disrupt the restructuring of the EHRS. The solution to this is to have the staff trained on the restructured EHRS before its full implementation. This will ensure that the members of staff are on board and understand the change. The other internal factor revolves around the measurements and the leading indicators. The lack of these two elements may leave the organization with a strategic plan without any progress measures. This then demotivates the stakeholders involved as they do not know whether they are making progress or continually failing in their efforts. The solution here is to have measurements, leading indicators, and progress measures before the commencement of the strategic plan implementation. There should also be specific times for measuring each progress indicator to determine the implementation progress and offer some form of feedback for the strategic implementation team. 8 External factors may also become barriers to the success of the proposed strategic plan. One of the barriers is inadequate funds for infrastructural expansion. The facility will rely on collaboration with different stakeholders such as donors and approvals from the government to commence the infrastructural expansions. However, these stakeholders may fail to approve of the funding on time or fail to do so completely, which is detrimental to the progress of the strategic plan. The proposed solution is to develop a resource mobilization strategy. This will seek support from various quarters preventing the over-reliance on specific funders. The second barrier to implementation is the non-use of internal employees to restructure the EHRS. The HIPAA places a heavy responsibility on healthcare facilities to ensure patient data privacy. The restructuring of the EHRS will demand the use of external employees where they will be able to have access to the hospital systems putting patient information at risk. The proposed solution is to have a legal agreement with the organization that will be running this workshop. This will help reduce the risk of patient data exposure. There is also the external barrier is a poor collaboration with neighboring hospitals for information sharing. This may lead to a lack of information on the factors that have led to the neighboring establishments success and failures. The solution is to have the strategic management team seek an audience with the neighboring facilities and reach an agreement that information sharing will be mutually beneficial. Market Segment Targeted by Strategic Plan EMC targets different market segments as it offers a wide array of services. The strategic plan above targets the women/children health market segment. Women s health is far-reaching and includes maternity services, cancer screening, gynecology, heart health, among others. Nevertheless, the strategic plan is specifically targeted at younger women seeking healthcare interventions for maternity services. The expectation is that these younger women are tech-savvy 9 and appreciate a technologically enabled healthcare facility where they can enjoy care coordination at the comfort of their homes until they reach full term. The other expectation is that this target segment requires a block of its own where women can receive maternal services, not in facilities with patients with other conditions enhancing their comfort. The infrastructural expansion will see the actualization of this. The rationale for targeting this strategic plan to this specific market segment is to ensure that the facility increases the number of women visiting the facility through understanding that they can experience effective care coordination. The increase in the bed capacity will show that more The Leapfrog ratings for 2021 show that the hospital has limited achievement in maternal care, which is another reason for selecting this target market segment. Marketing the Strategic Plan Marketing the strategic plan will be imperative to its implementation. The most effective marketing approach to this plan will be relationship marketing. This is a strategy based on building close relationships with the customers to retain them and help the establishment attract a new clientele base. An example of how relationship marketing will work with this specific marketing plan is to let patients who come for maternity services know of the future goals of the healthcare facility. This will be through information brochures and verbal communication. The healthcare facility will also let the patients know that they can conduct a self-scheduling and access their patient portals. This is part of the restructuring of the EHRS. The flexibility that this offers for the patients seeking maternity services will help the plan succeed. Another example of how relationship marketing will work for this specific target market is the hospital getting involved with the local and regional maternal healthcare organizations, especially the non-profit ones. These organizations are integral in getting the message across of the plans of the 10 establishment. Involvement with them can include providing free maternal care when there are community reach-out events. The non-profit organizations with their wider reach to the target market will then communicate the hospital s strategic plan to the target audience. 11 References Benzaghta, M. A., Elwalda, A., Mousa, M. M., Erkan, I., & Rahman, M. (2021). SWOT analysis applications: An integrative literature review. Journal of Global Business Insights, 6(1), 55-73. 10.5038/2640-6418.104.22.1688 East Georgia Regional Medical Center. (EMC). (n.d). Retrieved from LeapFrog Organization. (n.d). How to Use Leapfrog Hospital Ratings. Retrieved from LeapFrog Ratings. (2021). East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Retrieved from Nickols, P. (2016). Strategy, Strategic Management, Strategic Planning, And Strategic Thinking. Retrieved from Quinn, M., Forman, J., Harrod, M., Winter, S., Fowler, K. E., Krein, S. L., Gupta, A., Saint, S., Singh, H., & Chopra, V. (2019). Electronic health records, communication, and data sharing: challenges and opportunities for improving the diagnostic process. Diagnosis (Berlin, Germany), 6(3), 241 248. Salavati, S., Veshareh, E. J., Safari, H., Veysian, A., & Amirnezhad, G. (2017). Strategic thinking and its related factors in a medical science university in Iran. Electronic physician, 9(5), 4332 4340. 12
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