The Journey, Framework, and Goals of a Strategic Healthcare Plan

The healthcare industry continues to evolve and change at a faster pace than strategic planners realize. In fact, there is more insistence and need for a detail-oriented strategic healthcare plan that could withstand the test of time.

Contrary to misguided perception, I understand that strategic planning is no longer a one-time event. The last thing executive leaders and CEOs should do is to shelf their strategic plans for years. Once you learn to plan based on unspecified elements, then private practices, clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations become more equipped to deal with unforeseeable obstacles.

The timeframe of a strategic plan should be three years for healthcare organizations. It is a continuous journey that requires people who hold positions of power to make structural decisions that work in favor of healthcare facilities. So long as all the pieces of a strategic plan fit together over time, it can render higher efficiency for small and big healthcare operational activities. I can bet on my 35+ years of experience in the healthcare sector that without a strategic plan, it’s like wandering in a vast desert without a roadmap.

Strategic Healthcare Planning: Why It Matters

Just like other business entities, a healthcare strategic plan should have clear objectives to guarantee success. We don’t know for certain what lies ahead for the healthcare sector in the upcoming years. Therefore, the best course of action for hospitals, nursing homes, private practices, and other healthcare providers would be to have a realistic strategic plan.

Change doesn’t have to be a terrifying element as long as healthcare organizations learn to navigate a crisis. Ultimately, a successful strategic plan serves as a roadmap for the future. Apart from socio-political factors, technological advancement will continue to transform the healthcare industry.

Change is, however, a gradual shift that will run its course. It is one of the reasons I firmly believe that healthcare organizations should have short-term and long-term strategic plans. It’s the dawn of a new age where healthcare organizations have to adapt and move on to newer strategic changes.

From the intended vision to execution, healthcare facilities can cut the strategic gaps and improve performance. For the sake of flexibility and adaptability, it takes a well-tested strategy to remain relevant.

The Current Status of Strategic Planning in Hospitals and Healthcare Centers

Currently, many healthcare organizations are suffering from rigid institutional structures. It is outdated governance that makes it harder to set communication parameters and avoid managerial and lower level employee frustrations. 

Ideally executive leaders and other medical staff should have the same mindset of thinking strategically. In order for a healthcare strategic plan to be successful, a top to bottom alignment is needed. It is important to consider first the internal institutional issues that could possibly act as a barrier to progress. Once those areas are addressed, then job satisfaction and the efforts to create transformation comes more naturally to everyone. 

Often, healthcare facilities don’t know how to implement detailed organizational and financial plans. It is true – it does take time to understand the intricate details of a well-researched strategic healthcare plan. Realistically, policy and lawful changes should take place periodically. Furthermore, healthcare institutions can analyze investments that are prone to more risks than others. Essentially, the objective is to make informed decisions for the foreseeable future.

It is, however, by no means an easy feat to achieve. I fervently believe that the formulation of long-term goals ensures the longevity of a healthcare organization. It also takes an analytical study of the health industry to predict future parameters.

Strategic Healthcare Planning: Facts and Figures

  • The elderly population of the U.S. will increase by 17% by 2020.
  • Healthcare premiums will continue to increase for most demographics.
  • Hospital admissions for underlying chronic conditions that are risk elements for coronavirus are more common in the U.S. than in other countries.
  • U.S. citizens report a much shorter waiting period as compared to other countries’ patients.
  • The U.S. spends almost 17% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare, which is double the total average spending of OECD countries on healthcare.

Perspective: From Shared Vision to Transformational Leadership

A uniform and shared vision can leave a positive impact on a healthcare organization. It makes medical staff more motivated and committed to achieve the desired vision. Concurrently, it boosts the confidence of the stakeholders to make logical financial decisions. Both mission and vision statements must be clearly defined or restructured during the formulation of a strategic plan. It should be good, to make your employees want to be part of it.

It never ceases to amaze me how a result-oriented strategic healthcare plan that’s properly formulated, communicated, and executed can fulfill even the most ambitious vision. However, you need individuals who know how to exercise transformation leadership without an authoritative mindset.

Transformational leadership inspires medical employees to surpass their preconceived work expectations. Throughout my experience, I’ve seen how transformational leaders properly communicate the vision of a healthcare organization.

It all comes down to individual self-belief that you can perform better than anyone. The idea is to convey to medical staff how performance roles can help healthcare organizations achieve strategic solutions.

Strategic Healthcare Consultation: What Constitutes an Ideal Plan?

Technically, it all starts with a heightened sense of communication across all organizational channels. From your stakeholders to medical staff, strong communications ensure that your healthcare organization will continue to break performance boundaries for years to come.

The end-goal of cross-departmental communication renders a higher level of clarity. Consequently, your healthcare strategic plan would be able to address the central problems and focus on the organization’s goals.

Another factor that makes your strategic plan more effective is the continuous engagement ratio among employees. The same factor also transcends motivational boundaries because employees want to be heard and recognized at the end of the day. Individuals who assume leadership roles understand the importance of higher levels of engagement. It improves productivity and makes safety management easier. 

Thirdly, there should be an understanding of the very important relationship between strategic planning and performance appraisals of employees. Performance appraisal directives should stem from the Board of Directors and conducted by managers to help gauge the value of the employee’s performance, whether they are executing the organization’s core values, and determine how performance can be improved. The effectiveness of a performance appraisal can be judged in how well it achieves its strategic objectives. Performance appraisals are really about setting and achieving goals at the employee level, and identifying and fixing barriers related to achieving specific goals that are part of the strategic planning process. 

You can create individual work-units to define employee goals and objectives, and those goals and objectives in turn are used to determine and analyze the goals and objectives of each employee in a work unit. This is called cascading of goals. When done properly, setting employee goals should rely on the goals of the particular work-unit, which gets its goals from the planning done by the next bigger work unit, and so on. That’s why the setting of individual goals and objectives should be done once the goals and objectives of the work-units are established.

The fourth major factor that makes up a successful strategic healthcare plan is the combination of cooperation and collaboration. Team cooperation and collaboration is arguably the most crucial aspect in delivering high-standard healthcare. Medical staff and management have to work side-by-side to ensure organizational success. Effective healthcare strategic planning models influence employees to come together and focus on quality patient care, increased performance, and a high response rate.

I wish more healthcare organizations would share their strategic plans with their employees. It’s not just about accountability; it’s about working together in harmony to achieve long-term goals of your organization that matters the most. Once everyone’s on the same page, it becomes easier to execute even the most tumultuous tasks. One of the best ways to collaborate and work with organizational staff is through staff meetings. It allows managers a window of opportunity to share the details of the strategic plan.

Benefits of a Strategic Healthcare Consultation Plan

There are a multitude of benefits when it comes to strategic healthcare planning. Ordinarily, it consists of numerous components that inherently work for all healthcare institutions, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations operating at different levels.

Once you understand the endless possibilities that come with a well-researched strategic healthcare plan, healthcare systems can take into account financial considerations and patient care in different ways. Also, I’ve witnessed how healthcare facilities still confuse strategic plans with traditional plans.

One of the benefits of having strategic health planning is how significantly it improves an organization’s productivity. Often, hospitals tend to believe that they are functioning at a high capacity, but with a strategic approach, they can become even more efficient.

Mostly, it depends on how you set a strategic plan in motion. In hindsight, a strategic plan for healthcare organizations functions like a cause-and-effect. It can significantly improve company culture, simplify objectives, and budgeting.

A strategic healthcare plan can provide the benefits of making informed line decisions, supervising cost accounting, and conducting risk management. Healthcare organizations can also tackle additional capital plans and conduct long-term forecasts effortlessly.

Strategic Healthcare Planning: Prioritize Questions that Matter the Most

While each healthcare organization functions differently and makes changes subjectively, institutions need to ask themselves some essential questions before strategic healthcare planning. In short, there are a series of questions that should be at the forefront of each strategic healthcare plan:

  • What type of healthcare services do you currently offer?
  • What are the key financial goals of your healthcare organization?
  • Is there a need to change a service, eliminate, or improve service lines?
  • What is the reasoning behind offering certain healthcare services?
  • Have you diversified more than you should have?
  • Is there a lack of diversification in terms of services?
  • How would you implement a new form of technology across the organization?
  • What are the core services that you intend to market in the upcoming years?
  • What are the dynamics and behavioral patterns of your patients?
  • How do you intend to target and market your new healthcare services?
  • Will you be able to monitor and manage your social media platforms?
  • Are you compliant and up-to-date on all healthcare regulatory changes?
  • Do you have a good online presence to attract more patients?
  • How will the new strategic changes lead to a positive impact on your overall goals?

Remember, what may work for one healthcare institution may not be suitable for another. And this is where you need to evaluate your healthcare organization’s internal environment. In fact, don’t be reluctant to dive into cost and demographic elements that align with your medical service setting. One of the pillars of a strategic plan can be the development of a value-oriented payment model. Another pillar can be strengthening your internal organization. It would allow you the clarity as to what would make the strategic plan work better.

I recommend all healthcare institutions to initiate a strategic plan by gathering all of your current reports that objectively explain your healthcare organization’s financial and service care status. After that, your focus of interest should be to expand your strategic plan. Once the foundational pillars of a strategic plan are in place, draft broader goals.

Generally, healthcare facilities may conduct a SWOT analysis to take a closer look at their strengths and weaknesses. The competitive SWOT analysis will allow you to determine how you can better plan your healthcare services and make a comparative analysis.

Strategic Management Will Always be Important to Hospitals

The strategic healthcare plan serves as a compass to achieve organizational success. Without this strategic roadmap, it would become practically impossible for healthcare institutes to drive growth in the competitive healthcare industry.

Standardized implementation of strategic healthcare plans will lead to better communication and performance. Health organizations need to think of strategic planning as a framework that would make it possible to adapt to new medical standards or pivot new changes.

That said, a strategic management plan makes it possible for healthcare organizations to take sufficient time and evaluate their existing strategic initiatives for relevancy.

Sure, several healthcare organizations have some form of a strategic plan in place. But once the implementation of a strategic plan begins, future environmental changes and competitor actions also change. By solely concentrating on a strategic plan, CEOs can continually reflect on annual performance rather than check performance levels repeatedly.

Unlike obsolete older strategic plans, healthcare organizations will lean more towards compliant and realistic strategic planning. These plans will foster more communication and collaboration. Furthermore, the integration and implementation of complex strategy elements would become easier over time.

PDV Health: A Plan that Guarantees Growth

Our strategic healthcare planning extends beyond traditional norms. Over the years, we have perfected the formula of a strategic healthcare plan that leads to long-term strategic benefits. With the integration of the right technological solutions, healthcare organizations have a unique opportunity to plan for a successful and safe future.

It takes due-diligence, expertise, and understanding of detailed analytics to boost the financial growth of a healthcare organization. However, the design of our strategic healthcare plan also takes into account patients. Future leads may not be more eager to devise strategic healthcare plans that could significantly increase performance and care efficiency.

Our strategic healthcare plan focuses on key elements such as budgeting, equipment replacement, monthly or quarterly variance, productivity reporting, and continuous tracking. We understand that an effective strategic healthcare plan perfectly estimates “how” and “where” you can make cost-effective choices.


In essence, an ideal strategic solution revolves around analytical assessment, strategic formulation, execution, and final evaluation. These elements serve as a series of performance indicators that ensure patient care, financial stability, staff productivity, and invite more opportunities.

Learn more about our strategic management process and plans to help your healthcare organization achieve long-term growth.