The phases of physician practice strategic planning


It is an observation that never ceases to be interesting: Strategic planning plays a central role in the ongoing management and operation of the most successful medical practices. It is also a process that is commonly either missing or maligned among practices of average performance. As with any key functional initiative, the value the medical practice perceives, and realizes, from the undertaking is a function of how well the process is implemented, and the plan itself is executed. It is also worth noting that, in the past five years, many practices actively engaging strategic planning processes and related strategic initiatives have tended to over-weight the external market factors, and under-weight the significance of the internal needs and related considerations.

A balanced process that properly evaluates internal and external environmental issues, and develops strategic initiatives with respect to those issues, will create more success opportunities for a medical practice. So when considering strategic planning, make sure your process is broken into the following phases:

Physician interviews and questionnaires
Mission Statement development and ratification
Internal environmental assessment
External environmental assessment
Action plan - Goal setting
Follow-up and measurement of action plan
Annual edit and revisions to initial strategic plan
Action plan - Goal setting - Year Two
Follow-up and measurement of results

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