The Healthcare system in the U.S. is complex and difficult to fathom for many Americans. The country fluctuates from a private and public health care system in which there seem to be conflicting interests from those who provide healthcare. That confusion, and often uncertainly, is both from patients and those who work in the healthcare field. Healthcare reform and other forces that include cuts in government reimbursement, the growth of consumerism, and the pressure of competition are leaving hospital employees and patients wondering what the future will hold for American healthcare.
Where U.S. Healthcare Stands
In a broad survey that compared medical experiences and attitudes in Germany, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, the following was discovered:
- American spends the most, per capita, on health care
- American doctors are not paid according to the quality of their care
- Patient wait times in the U.S. are low because many forego doctor visits
- Many in the U.S do not have a regular physician
- Many U.S. doctors do not listen to their patients
- Americans have the highest rates of chronic diseases
What this survey means is that we may have fallen behind other developed countries in providing quality healthcare. Hospital employees want to feel there’s a connection with their work and the overall mission of their healthcare organization. Connecting employees to the hospital’s mission and providing excellent healthcare services is the job of strategic planning and exceptional leadership.
Providing Effective Leadership
In today’s world, the need for effective leadership is more critical than it has ever been. A strategic plan, executed far enough in advance, can provide the organizational, structural and reporting methods to create change within the system. It is the same with any organization that must survive in its competitive environment.
Bringing Greater Clarity to Chaos
While the healthcare system does a great job in many areas, there’s room for improvement. A healthcare specialist with a Bachelor of Science in health information management says that improvement starts with making it clear to healthcare workers where their system is headed and how everyone will get there at the same time.
Implementing a Strategic Plan
When you introduce strategic planning to hospital structure and operations, be sure to address the following:
- Quality of Staff: Employees are every establishment’s most precious resource—this goes double for hospitals, where quality and duration of human life can be improved by competent staff. Focus on employing the best and helping the existing staff develop and progress in their field.
- Advancement in the Market: A well-trained and hardworking staff might be the backbone of a hospital, but if your institution is virtually unknown in your community, their talents (and the money you’ve invested in their development) will go to waste. Experiment with community outreach tactics—offer health and safety courses, give lectures at local schools, or find another niche within your community which your hospital can fill.
- Facility Improvement: While high-quality service can be offered at a low-quality facility, it is far more difficult to deliver consistently good care when the facility cannot keep up with the demands of the patients, staff, and administration. Tackle any improvements the hospital facility requires as part of your strategic plan.
Reforming and improving in these areas is essential to implementing—or advancing, if your plan is active—your strategic plan.
Strategic healthcare planning can articulate important issues and provide a roadmap of the organization’s destination. A roadmap gives the stakeholders and employees a greater degree of confidence in knowing how much to commit to financially, emotionally and psychologically with respect to their organization. Their commitment to excellence has a direct impact on the scope and quality of healthcare delivered to the American people.