5 ways CEOs can tackle hospital strategic planning

Board room

Hospital and health system CEOs should take the lead as “chief strategist” for their organizations when developing a strategic plan, according to an article from Hospitals & Health Networks.

Active participation, instead of observation, in planning sessions is necessary. Board members should also play a significant role in strategic planning, according to the article. Here are some other tips HHN offers:

  • Start by assessing the hospital's current status and consider what challenges it may face over the next three to five years. Multiple groups of stakeholders can submit their checklists of challenges, which can be merged into one overarching list of issues for the hospital to tackle.

  • Avoid being passive or too nice during discussions. CEOs who take the reins on strategic planning must not gloss over potential issues for the sake of being polite and should steer conversations and decisions toward what is most effective.

  • Though board members should be involved in the process, they shouldn’t necessarily develop tactics for achieving goals. Instead, they should empower the CEO to make such decisions and promote development of an overall direction for a strategic plan.

  • Include physicians in discussions, as they may not support a stategic plan if they aren't directly involved in the process. 

  • Be as transparent as possible. Staff, including physicians, may not buy into a strategic plan if they view it as a “product of the C-suite.”

In an interview with Becker’s Hospital Review, Kate Goonan, M.D., former judge of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, said effective leaders should not get discouraged by a lack of immediate progress after implementing change.

“My advice to leaders is have a strategy, own it, be engaged yourself and be ready to stay the course because it doesn't happen overnight,” Goonan told Becker’s.

- read the HHN article
- here’s the Becker’s interview