Strategic Planning Process in Healthcare

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StrategicPlanning Process in Healthcare


StrategicPlanning Process in Healthcare

Strategicplanning refers to the processes taken by organizations towardsachieving their long-term goals. Zuckerman (2006, p. 3) posits that“the volatile healthcare market demands that providers be nimblecompetitors with advanced, ongoing planning processes that drivegrowth and organizational effectiveness.” The unpredictabilitywithin the healthcare is largely facilitated by the increasingglobalization tendencies and adoption of neoliberal ideas. Forinstance, increased globalization tendencies present newdiversity-related challenges as healthcare organizations face peoplefrom various cultural, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds amongothers.

Figure 1: Factors Facilitating the Change in Contemporary Healthcare

Forinstance, quality service delivery is considered as one that meetsthe physical, emotional and psychological needs of patients. Thisaspect has been a major challenge in Australia where Aboriginalpeople have different healthcare needs as dictated by their culturalpractices. A comprehensive healthcare practice would consider everyaspect of peoples’ lives, including their cultural diversities andhow such diversities impact on their health statuses. The analysis ofthe external and internal environment of healthcare reveals that itis highly volatile as asserted by Zuckerman (2006, p. 13), and thatrelated institutions would benefit from strategic planning processes.

Themain steps in strategic planning processes include the development ofmissions and objectives, the analysis of healthcare environment,strategy formulation, implementation of the strategy, and evaluationand control.

Figure 2: Strategic Planning Process

Thesub-steps that should be added to the analysis of the healthenvironmental include factors such as the background variations ofthe population, including demographic, cultural, religious and racialbackgrounds. The uniqueness of healthcare needs of individuals dependupon the variations of the mentioned factors as illustrated in thefigure below.

Figure 3: Factors Influencing the Difference in Healthcare needs Among People

Thediversity in such backgrounds changes what has been a traditionalapproach to delivering healthcare. Correspondingly, neoliberal ideashave changed people’s perceptions regarding healthcare (Abramovitz&amp Zelnick, 2010). Currently, healthcare institutions seek toattain independence from government support by adopting effectivebusiness practices. These changes in the perception and practiceswithin healthcare present new needs. The new needs require relatedinstitutions to adjust their objectives and goals with the aim ofremaining realistic in the contemporary healthcare sector. Therefore,strategic planning in the healthcare sector is likely to beinfluenced by peoples’ diversities, level of education, resourcesavailability and the ability of people to access healthcare.


Abramovitz,M., &amp Zelnick, J. (2010). Double jeopardy: the impact ofneoliberalism on care workers in the United States and South Africa.InternationalJournal of Health Services,40(1),97-117.

Zuckerman,A. M. (2006). Advancing the state of the art in healthcare strategicplanning. Frontiersof health services management,23(2),3.

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