Medical Center Strategic Plans
What is it? How should it be looked at? What are its planning horizons?
Reynaldo O. Joson, MD
December 4, 2014
A strategic plan is a directed course of action to achieve an intended set of goals.
It is usually a general plan and a long-term plan.
For a medical center, I suggest the planning horizon be 10-20 years with a consideration of health trends in the next 50 years. The main reason for this recommendation is the capital intensive requirements for subsequent renovations of facility and medical and hospital equipment whenever there will be a change in health trends.
Once the 10-20 year strategic plan has been drawn up, this can be broken into several subsets of aligned and contributory strategic plans. The subsets consist of both medium-term and short-term strategic plans. The medium-term strategic plans have a planning horizon of 5-10 years while the short-term strategic plans have a planning horizon of 3-5 years.
The basic reasons for the long planning horizons for strategic plans are one, the capital intensive requirements for subsequent renovations of facility and medical and hospital equipment and two, the need to balance between the lead time for human and capital investments and rate of advancement and changes in medical technology and practices.
The 3-year planning horizon for the short-term strategic plans is recommended for strategic plans in medical centers because 3 years is considered an optimal time horizon to carry out key strategies and actions throughout the hospital system; to balance between the lead time for human and capital investments and the rate of advancement and changes in medical technology and practices; and to decrease the tendency and risk of the workforce towards complacency in accomplishing things which are usually experienced with longer time horizons.
Thus, depending on the planning horizon, strategic plans for medical centers can be 20-10-5-3 strategic plans or 10-5-3 strategic plans.