In 2012, I attended a full day seminar on strategic planning, and it really changed the way I looked at my medical practice. I had been setting yearly goals and making adjustments each year, but I really didn’t have a long-term strategic plan. If you are anything like I was, then you’ve landed on the right page, because a well-structured strategic business plan is essential your practice in both the short and the long term.
The business of medicine is becoming more challenging every day. All across the country, physicians are experiencing organizational changes in the healthcare delivery system. Reimbursement will be tied to demonstrated value (and some subjective measures) rather than quantity of care. Technology changes are ongoing and very costly, and the regulatory environment is becoming even more burdensome.
Strategic business planning is more important than ever. Sadly though, most of us were never taught how read a business plan let alone create one. Let me highlight some key points of strategic planning and share with you how I help practices create an individualized plan just for their organization.
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Why Do Strategic Planning?
- Provide a reality check to physicians and staff.
- Solve problems and look for new opportunities for the organization.
- Get everyone on the same page (Buy-in).
- Create a course of action based on desired goals.
Imagine building a house without a blueprint or taking a family vacation without a destination in mind when you leave. Obviously, either of those would end up a disaster. Your practice isn’t any different. Without a formal process to identify your mission, values, goals, projects, time lines, barriers, opportunities, and strategies, you are likely to make serious and costly mistakes along the way.
Before I work with a practice or organization on strategic planning, I like to clarify what that strategic planning session can do, and what it will not do.
Strategic Planning Can:
- Provide Clear Direction
- Bring Clarity to Goals
- Develop Strategies to Overcome Barriers
- Help Teams Work Together
- Be a Tool for Assessing Future Opportunities
- … and much more
Strategic Planning Can NOT:
- Be a One-Time Event Without Follow Up
- Be Done Without Input of All Stakeholders
- Be Based on Wishful Thinking or Unrealistic Expectations
- Be Handed to You by the Consultant