Strategic Planning in Health Care Organizations

NURS 6241: Strategic Planning in Health Care Organizations

Week One Initial Discussion: Introduction to the Planning Process

Introduction

The purpose of this week’s discussion is to explain how this writer views the similarities and differences between the nursing process and the strategic planning process. Next, share an example that demonstrates why it is beneficial for a nurse leader to be aware of the planning hierarchy. Finally, to identify why one should be engaged in the strategic planning in addition to and in contrast with operational planning.

Nursing and Strategic Planning Process

In 1958, Ida Jean Orlando started the nursing process that still directs nursing today. It can be defined as a system of approaches to care using the fundamental principles of critical thinking, client-centered treatment, goal orientation, evidence e- based practice and nursing intuition (Toney-Butler, 2019). It is holistic and scientific while integrating compassion, quality-based care. There are five steps to this process, which are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. It is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs in which the individual needs of the patient must be met before other less significant needs (Toney-Butler, 2019). An example of this is that the safety of the patient can not be addressed first if the patient cannot breathe properly. The breath issue must be addressed first.

The strategic plan process is an organizational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals. Establish agreement around intended outcomes and results and assess and adjust the direction of organization response to the changing environment (Wilsey, Sterling, Burton, & Boo). This process helps to articulate where the organization is going, the actions that need to be taken to progress, and how successful it will be. There are steps to the strategic planning process, which are assessment, strategy formulation, strategic execution, and evaluation. The association of strategic planning or ASP is dedicated to advancing thought and practice in this planning process. They have developed a lead- think-plan-act rubric(Wilsey, Sterling, Burton, & Boo).

The nursing and strategic process have both similarities and differences that exist. First is that both have a process; however, strategic planning is less organized, and doe not has a one method process as the nursing process that arises from evidence-based practice. Lastly, in the nursing process, the diagnosis must be determined before moving towards a plan, whereas in strategic planning, this is not a step. Both of these planning processes are used in the healthcare system. One striking similarity between the two is that they both assess the situation, then make a plan and implement it and finally evaluate it. This similarity should help a nurse who becomes a leader to use the nursing process as a start point in understanding and implementing the strategic process. They are both critical thinking approaches.

Example of Benefits to Nurse Leaders

In one example, this writer discovered was how to teach nurses to reach the board room level. Often in this, writers experience nurses have an opinion about a subject but cannot see the big picture and the skill set to articulate a plan for the problem at hand. These skills are what is need to be at the board room level. It is in a nurse nature that they are strategic thinkers, which means they use both sides of the brain, and they are both logical and creative. They also, in many respects, are life- long learners (Strategic Thinking: A Nurse’s Skill. (n.d.)). They possess specific competencies such as anticipating change, challenge assumptions, interpret their environment, make tough decisions, look for lessons learned, and finally to engage stakeholders. These competencies are similar to those who sit in a board room, which is gaining buy-in, conducting environmental assessments, developing both planning and financial assumptions, development of strategic frameworks, and establishment of performance measures (Strategic Thinking: A Nurse’s Skill. (n.d.)). One aspect that nurses who reach this level struggle with is thinking from a metaphorical perspective. However, if they look at the organization as they did their patients on a healing path seeking to improve itself and aligned with its mission and open to opportunities that smooth its journey along the route (Strategic Thinking: A Nurse’s Skill. (n.d.)), this approach to thinking and using their previous experience is precisely what will enable them to one day become a board member. There is a growing need to have nurses that are at the board level; a recent survey completed determined that only 2.3 percent of board members were nurses in comparison to 22.6 percent being physicians (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing & Medicine, 1970).

Engagement in Strategic and Operational Planning

The last area in which to review is why a nurse leader should be involved in strategic and operational planning. Nurse leaders must see the the value that their position brings to the healthcare organization. Their involvement will allow them to take responsibility for identification of areas of waste, devising and implementing a plan for improvement, tracking the progress over time and then making the needed adjustments to establish goals (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing & Medicine, 1970). Also, it will help them to become a partner in the healthcare policy area in which they can see that policy is not something that happens to them but rather something a nurse leader can shape and develop based on strategic and operational goals. The needs for nurse leaders who are comfortable with the strategic and operational process will only grow due to the enactment of such bills like the ACA which will require strong leadership among nurse leaders and physicians to implement the needed increase in quality, access, value and delivery of patient-centered care (Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing & Medicine, 1970).

Conclusion

The nursing process is similar to the strategic plan process in many ways. Nurse leaders can use their experiences, competencies, and critical thinking skills that they used in their bead side practice to the organizational level. If the nurse leader can identify this connection, it will help them to excel at the board room level.

 

References

Toney-Butler, T. J. (2019, July 30). Nursing Process. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499937/

Wilsey, D., Sterling, T., Burton, B., & Boo, M. (n.d.). Strategic Planning Basics. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://balancedscorecard.org/strategic-planning-basics/

Strategic Thinking: A Nurse’s Skill. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.oregonnursesonboards.org/service/strategic-thinking-nurses-skill/

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, & Medicine, at the I. of. (1970, January 1). Transforming Leadership. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209867/