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HSA 599: Health Services Administration Capstone

Conducting an Environmental Analysis

Strayer University

When administering a hospital facility, external factors are intertwined in the daily operating procedures. One must consider all the external factors and any problems that the competition may create for them. When running a health care organization (hospital, in this case), these problems become even more important to be tackled. The problem with running a hospital is that there is always going to be some form of competition within the range of the patients. There is also the government aspect with health and human right laws and ever-changing insurance companies.

Determine two (2) specific forces in the external environment that will have the most impact on your organization. Provide a rationale for your decision.

Two specific forces in the external environment that will have the most impact on my hospital facility include political and technological factors. “With the passage of the ACA, federal and state governments, via Medicare and Medicaid and many commercial insurers, are changing the payment process for health care.”(Sieniewicz, Walzak, & Bellefeuille, 2015, p.3). There is now more incentive for healthcare organizations to keep patients well as opposed to repeatedly treating sick patients with expensive procedures and tests. This saves the patient money and prevents healthcare facilities from performing unnecessary testing in order to boost revenue. With government regulations being enforced, competitive healthcare facilities have an even playing field.

The technological segment included the factors that can be created by current or upcoming technological advancements. We need the latest and best technology in our hospital to keep ahead of the competition (Reeve, 2002). Hospital facilities have to maintain up to date equipment, instrumentation, and treatments in order to provide the highest quality of care to its patients. In a competitive market, a hospital that provides laser surgery is likely to be more competitive than one that does invasive surgery. Effective use of technology has a major impact on the patient’s outlook towards the facility. Therefore, healthcare organizations who do not invest in advanced technology will fall behind in advancing markets.

Determine two (2) specific internal factors that the organization’s leaders need to consider in preparing for the future of health care and the future of the organization. Provide a rationale for your decision.

Internal analysis is an extremely important step in developing a strategic plan. It helps us find a competitive advantage. This analysis tells us about exactly what it is that makes us desirable and unique and what is that we lack. We can then use the information to work on what we lack and make sure that our uniqueness, desirability, our competitive advantage is sustained.

The internal analysis made us aware of our capabilities. It showed us, what we can do and what we are doing. It also showed us our weaknesses. The things we cannot do, yet. Or the things we are not good at. Things we lack. Keeping those in mind, we can see what our competitors have that we don’t. Next step is to get those things in a better form. (Swayne, 2012)

The internal analysis revealed that the hospital lacks in technology that their competitors already have. A primary goal of healthcare technology is to reduce costs to patients. By acquiring new advanced treatments and instrumentation, the hospital will likely reduce costs by utilizing more efficient processes. Technologically advanced techniques often reduce recover times as well, which leads to more availability in hospital space shorter inpatient stays for patients. Faster recovers allow patients to return to their standard of living faster making them more likely to choose the most advanced competitor.

It also revealed that their competitors have a better-skilled staff. So, the management must work on getting better-skilled staff. Hospital facilities have to make their organizations a desirable place to work for skilled individuals. They can do so by offering competitive wages, desirable benefits and retirement packages. Healthcare is also known for having overworked and tired employees, therefore offering desirable shifts can lead to more skilled applicants.

Discuss the impact of both the identified internal and external forces on the organization’s ability to develop a competitive strategy.

A competitive advantage is extremely necessary to stay ahead of the competition. It is what sets us apart from other. A good competitive advantage is one which the competitors cannot imitate that easily, which is unique, it provides some real advantages to the consumer that the consumer can feel and calculate, and finally, it should be adaptive, that is, company or organization should be able to use it more than one ways as the environmental factors change and needs of people change. But, just having an advantage is not enough. It must stay. What is an advantage today, might not be an advantage when times change. One must not lose their competitive advantage because if they do, they will become mainstream and they will no longer be standing apart.

The external factors imposed by political regulation leveled the playing field and as a result, competition is getting better and stronger. To keep our customer base from shrinking, we must offer something that the competition does not. Something that will attract more customers as well. By studying the competition, we found out that we are somewhat lagging behind in the technological segment. The competition that is relatively new to the market has got the latest machines and healthcare products. The older competition is also investing in the latest and the best. These upgrades are attracting consumers towards them. (Walt, 1994)

The most problematic internal factor is the lack of skilled staff. With a large volume of patients these days, nurses and doctors are not passionate about their work. Happy staff that feel appreciated for the work they do take better care of patients. The passion of nurse is really important. If the nurse is passionate, the chances of patient getting better increase and the quality of services also increase. These two things attract more customers.

All the above-mentioned factors are affecting the hospital and its services in a big way. This means that we must now make some changes in our strategic planning to deal with those factors and minimize their effect. When we are dealing with the said factors, it hampers our ability to follow a competitive strategy and make our place in the market. To deal with the internal factors, we must make some changes in the infrastructure and management strategy of the hospital. The problem of unpassionate nurses can be reduced by providing some incentives to nurses for being better at their job. Also, their thinking of the job as temporary and not permanent must also be changed. To do that, the job must be made desirable. The plan is to provide the opportunity of further studies at no expense for passionate nurses and make them doctors. Also, the package of nurses will be improved and there is going to be some awards and other incentives to make the nurses more passionate.

Technological advancement is the primary need and management understands that. Therefore, it has been decided to increase the budget for procurement and maintenance of technological solutions and machines. This will help the hospital technologically advance quickly. Hospital management has also decided to make a Research and Development (R&D) department so that we can find our own solutions to complex problems and advance technologically. This will help us keep competitors off our backs. There is also going to some more schemes and offers to attract some customers from our competitors’ patient population.

Recommend one (1) strategy that involves the organization’s managers in implementing and maintaining the momentum of the strategic plan

In order for a strategic plan to work, management must make sure that the above-mentioned strategies are implemented. The first step can be to hire a strategic manager to organize all the gathered information and findings and develop a strategic plan. Having a definitive plan that is presented to high-level management and shareholders is more likely to ensure that organization is accountable and more likely to achieve objectives. The strategic plan should be embedded into the organizations mission and vision and present to all employees. Management should require periodic updates on progress as well as any deficiencies in the plan.

To guarantee that the momentum of strategic plan of organization is upheld, systematic comparisons of actual work with organizational standards should be made (Blendon, 2004). The comparisons will recognize what is working and any changes that need to be made in the future. Systematic reviews also allows short term goals to be set making targets more easy to attain. The R&D department should be given a separate budget to make sure that it stays. The R&D department should also be required to present projects and outcomes to upper level management, and how these developments will be beneficial to the organization. Also, the employees must be made aware of the changes. This will help implement changes quickly (Berwick, 1991).

Conclusion

Environmental analysis must be conducted every few months to keep up progress and to make sure that the strategic plan is up to date with all the recent developments. Internal and external factors make a huge difference in the development of a successful healthcare organization. Deliberation into internal and external factors help organizations to maintain a competitive position in the healthcare market.

The employees should be given some awards or incentives to motivate them to follow the strategic plans. Another option such as departmental competitions can be used to make sure that a maximum number of employees help with strategy. Existing nurses should be given a chance to get free educational advancement opportunities with commitment to the hospital facility. Introducing new technology should be an exciting time for employees and the facility as it will offer new innovation and training opportunities. An effective strategic plan should make the hospital a more desirable place to work leading to better experiences for the patients. With internal factors improving in a positive manner, management must always keep abreast of external factors as well. With all bases covered, and the hospital facility maintaining the strategy, they should hold a positive position in a competitive market.

References

Aiken, L. H., Clarke, S. P., & Sloane, D. M. (2002). Hospital staffing, organization, and quality of care: cross-national findings. International Journal for quality in Health care, 14(1), 5-14.

Aiken, L. H., Clarke, S. P., Sloane, D. M., Sochalski, J. A., Busse, R., Clarke, H., ... & Shamian, J. (2001). Nurses’ reports on hospital care in five countries. Health affairs, 20(3), 43-53.

Berwick, D. M., Godfrey, B. A., & Roessner, J. (1991). Curing Health Care: New Strategies for Quality Improvement. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 13(5), 65-66.

Blendon, R. J., Schoen, C., DesRoches, C. M., Osborn, R., Zapert, K., & Raleigh, E. (2004). Confronting competing demands to improve quality: a five-country hospital survey. Health Affairs, 23(3), 119-135.

Brown, E. R. (1983). Public hospitals on the brink: Their problems and their options. Journal of health politics, policy and law, 7(4), 927-944.

Reeve, N.R. (2002). Introduction to Environmental Analysis. John Wiley & Sons.

SIENIEWICZ, T., WALZAK, K., & BELLEFEUILLE, D. G. (2015). TOWARD A Healthy Nation. Planning, 81(10), 27-31.

Swayne, L. E., Duncan, W. J., & Ginter, P. M. (2012). Strategic management of health care organizations. John Wiley & Sons.

Walt, G., & Gilson, L. (1994). Reforming the health sector in developing countries: the central role of policy analysis. Health policy and planning, 9(4), 353-370.

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