By Nick Hernandez
Strategic planning is not the same as operational planning. The former is focused on broad and long-lasting issues that ensure the medical practice’s long-term effectiveness and survival. The latter focuses on achieving objectives and carrying out short-term activities. Strategic planning functions as the “design” just as a blueprint functions as the “how” to build something.
Strategic plans are expressions of a physician owner’s dreams and visions of successful results. These plans must not be rigid because as they meet detours and obstacles they must be adjusted as the plan is implemented. The strategic plan, to be of long-term value, must be treated as an ongoing business process. It must evolve and change to reflect changing market and industry conditions. While you cannot predict the future, the absence of strategic planning usually leads to operating nightmares. Consequently, conducting proper strategic planning can reduce those “days you’d rather forget.” Medical practices that plan strategies are unquestionably more successful than those that do not.
So, a strategic plan is essentially a business plan, right? NO. A strategic plan itself consists mostly of words whereas a business plan is comprised of many figures and numbers. Strategic planning is a process that brings to life the mission and vision of the medical practice. As the practice grows and the healthcare environment becomes more complex, the need for strategic planning becomes greater. [Read more…]