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Tips for Strategic Planning For Health Technology Team

Posted Mar 02 2011 4:04pm

Strategic planning is very essential not only for business settings but also where it concerns health technology issues.  In general, strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, direction and in making decisions on allocating resources to pursue this strategy including its capital and people. Some of the analysis techniques used with strategic planning are as follows:

  • SWOT Analysis (  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • PEST Analysis ( political, economic, social and technological)
  • STEER Analysis ( socio-cultural, technological, economic, ecological, regulatory)
  • EPISTEL ( environmental, political, informatics, social, technological, economic and legal)

Goals and Objectives of Strategic Planning

A very important goal where it concerns strategic planning is in developing it in a way that is easily translated to action plans. It is therefore aimed at working for clear and concise results towards the achievement of short term and long term goals.  Decision processes should always end with objectives and ways to achieve them.

Having the appropriate strategic planning provides a business, organization or team with the right direction, communicates a picture of your identity as well as your aspirations and organizes attention and energy.  It also defines allocation of critical resources and builds commitment to action as aptly stated by Dr. Massaro of Ohio State University.

Tips for Strategic Planning

The following are the essential tips for strategic planning which are of great use for a health technology team towards the realization of its goals and objectives:

  1. Articulate a mission  - its key questions are:
  • Why do we exist?
  • Whom do we serve?
  • What do we provide?
  1. Articulate a vision – its key questions are:
  • How do we define excellence?
  • What do we stand for?
  • What makes us distinct?
  1. Analyze current situation and performance – its key questions are:
  • What is happening around us?
  • What are our internal strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the external threats?
  1. Identify gaps and critical issues – its key questions are:
  • What is the gap between our vision and current situation?
  • What other critical issues do we need to resolve?
  1. Set Strategic Priorities – its key questions are:
  • On what major priorities will we focus our efforts?
  • What criteria will be used to set priorities?
  1. Establish Performance measures and goals – its key questions are:
  • What measures will give us information about overall performance?
  • What goals must be achieved to accomplish strategic priorities?
  1. Develop One year Action Plan – its key questions are:
  • What specific steps to take in the next 12 months to reach goals?
  • Who is responsible and what is the timeline for completion?
  1. Conduct Evaluation and Schedule Progress Checks – its key questions are:
  • How to evaluate the strategic planning process?
  • How will we track our progress?

These tips are basic guides for every organization and team and a health technology team will have great use for the above guidelines.  It will set  things in order and  will  help chart a  more clearer  path  towards  attainment of  tasks and  goals. It will also provide an avenue to better chart the necessary steps and procedures needed for team building and cooperation.

Some Basic Approaches to Strategic Planning

These are some of the basic approaches with regard to strategic planning.  Such approaches have been commonly used among businesses and organizations:

  1. Situation, Target and  Path/Proposal
  2. Draw, See, Think, Plan
  3. See, Think, Draw

Simply put, strategic planning can be as follows:

  • Define vision and set a mission statement with  goals and objectives
  • SWOT analysis according to desired goals
  • Formulate actions to be taken to achieve goals
  • Implementation of processes
  • Monitor and get feedback from processes to control the operation

Health Information Technology Strategic Planning

While there is a necessity to  have clear cut strategic planning for a health technology team  it is  substantial to get  a clearer  understanding of  how strategic planning  works for  the health and medical field.  Health information technology, which for the most part is linked to e-health and telehealth areas, has its unique goals   and processes to undertake.

The thrust of health information technology among others is toward the execution of electronic health records. Strategic planning in this area is most often focused on a long term goal like a 5 year plan for example. A planning process is facilitated that includes an external assessment and an internal appraisal. Collaboration as well as Communication is also very much a part in the strategic planning of this area in health technology. Moreover, aligning resources and establishing guidelines for leading people across the organization is a vital part towards a high level of performance.

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