Medical Strategic Planning

Medical Strategic Planning for Physicians

As you are well aware, physicians and their practices face new and complex challenges. Among these are the repercussions from: the emphasis on reducing the cost of health care while increasing access to care, the downward pressure on fees by third party payors, the increased competition among physicians, and the movement toward strategic alliances. And those are but a few. Where practicing quality medicine once assured a practice’s success, it no longer does. Building, or even just maintaining, a medical practice has become more a function of the practice’s business acumen then its resident medical skills. This trend can only be seen as likely to continue, and, in that they must now more than ever view themselves as a business. A practice and its managers can only be seen as wise to look to the techniques, processes, and systems that have been developed and refined by the business community at large for some time.

Formal strategic planning, by its very definition, has been one of the critical processes employed by physician practices both large and small to deal with the issues of tomorrow. Changes typically occur much too quickly to allow long-term survival if you are only being reactive. By contrast, strategic planning provides a proactive, orderly, systematic review of the organization and the environment within which it is – and anticipates – operating. It involves the development of best projections of how that environment is likely to change, the identification of what external factors are most likely to drive the change, and an assessment of the conditions within the organization that may impact its ability to adapt to the change.

Once physician management understands that it is in its best interest to conduct a formal strategic planning session, the next critical step in the process is to hire an outside facilitator. Without question, a qualified facilitator will bring both independent information and perspectives to the planning process and related discussions. If properly experienced, the facilitator will concentrate on seeing that the right questions are asked, that everyone’s best ideas are drawn to the forefront, that the process remains focused, and that the ideas that emerge get articulated in a way that will be most likely to make a difference for the practice. A facilitator can help overcome all of the reasons mentioned above as to why strategic planning does not occur often enough. This is one of those times when a doctor should not try to “heal thyself.”


The Strategic Planning Process

As a Facilitator, I aid and assist in the following five steps to the physician strategic planning process:

  1. Physician and Staff Interviews
  2. Internal Environmental Analysis
  3. External Environmental Analysis
  4. Strategic Planning Retreat
  5. Creation of an Action Plan
Medical Strategic Planning FAQs

Strategic planning is crucial for your medical practice! It allows you to proactively address complex challenges, such as cost pressures, competition, and changing healthcare regulations. It allows your medical practice to systematically review the organization, anticipate changes in the environment, and develop strategies to adapt and thrive.

As an experienced facilitator I bring independent information and perspectives to the strategic planning process. I work to ensure the right questions are asked, help draw out the best ideas, keep the process focused, and articulate the ideas in a way that will make a meaningful difference for your medical practice. As an impartial facilitator, I can help your medical practice overcome common barriers to effective strategic planning. 

The strategic planning process for medical practices typically involves five key steps: 

  1. Physician and staff interviews to gather input and perspectives 
  2. Internal environmental analysis to assess the practice’s strengths, weaknesses, resources, and capabilities 
  3. External environmental analysis to identify opportunities, threats, industry trends, and competitive landscape 
  4. Strategic planning retreat to discuss findings, develop strategies, and set goals 
  5. Creation of an action plan to implement the strategies and monitor progress 
Questions? Contact Reed.

If you have questions about personal finance for physicians, contact me at 281-379-5988, submit a form online, or email me directly at