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Strategic Planning In Healthcare: 2023 Guide + Examples

Sara Seirawan

Sara Seirawan


This guide contains new healthcare planning strategies, their benefits, examples, traps to avoid, and all you need to know.

Whether you’re a medical business owner, an executive, or a practitioner, my promise to you is that, by the end of this article, you’ll get a razor-sharp understanding of what strategic planning is and how it can skyrocket your operational efficiency.

Here’s a brief outline of what I’ll cover:

What is strategic planning in healthcare?

  • The importance of strategic planning in healthcare
  • 3 Common Mistakes when implementing strategies
  • The best 8 healthcare planning strategies
  • ‘Secret’ to a fruitful healthcare planning campaigns

Strategic planning in healthcare is setting long-term objectives for your medical business and an action plan to hit your target goals. It’s about taking a proactive approach to building a future-proof medical brand.

There are many strategies (which we’re going to look at) to achieve a strategy-driven business model, but before we go deep into the details, let’s check how this can benefit your practice.

The benefit of strategic planning in healthcare

With a good strategic approach comes great advantages for your medical business.

1) It protect your medical business from unforeseen risks

With the Covid-19 situation, healthcare providers no longer can afford to function reactively. And this is where SP (strategic planning) comes into place. SP, by nature, is a proactive approach. It is focused on long-term goals and future-oriented planning.

This not only immune you against any unlooked-for risks but arms you with a well-crafted plan of what should be done in the face of uncertainty.

The Planning Strategy should work as the shatterproof window for your practice.

2) It speeds up your medical business growth

Having a strategy in place holds everyone involved accountable. This means an increased commitment from your team and faster work processes.

Furthermore, according to Parkinson’s Law, any team, when giving a task, will fill whatever time was allocated for its completion. This not only quickens your operational efficiency, but it also skyrockets your work productivity and patient outcomes.

This enhanced workflow will accelerate the rate at which your medical business grows. Resulting in a faster profit cycle.

The next graph illustrates how business growth rate correlates with operational efficiency.

3) It creates a cohesive workplace for your medical business

Medical businesses routinely separate functions to hierarchical levels to achieve efficiencies, However…

These divides lead to confusion, anxiety, and distrust as employees work at cross-purposes, taking refuge in functional silos instead of a collaborative ecosystem.

This makes your medical staff sub-optimizing when you need all parts working together.

Employees go about directionless, without an understanding of their role in delivering the (non-existent) consistent experience for patients.

To combat this, putting a strategic vision for your business ensures cohesiveness and a united workforce.

The bottom line is : the result of having a shared strategic vision is coherence; the result of aimless workflow is wasted resources.

4) It increases your profit margin

Great medical business owners aim for the stars and land on the moon. And this is what makes strategic financial planning great. It forces you to aim high. This kind of planning breaks the chains of the self-limiting beliefs that are preventing you and your staff from achieving a higher rate of profit margins.

Not only that, but it also makes sure that what you’re doing is directed by a strategy and measurable KPIs (key performance indicators) and not by a mere accumulation of tactics that don’t add up together.

This results in a well-tracked process, efficient way of working, and increased profitability.

3 Common mistakes when implementing healthcare strategic planning

Let’s explore common mistakes medical business fall into when implementing strategic planning workshops.

1) Disregarding their branding efforts

Any medical practice can have strategies, but great medical businesses let their brand act as a decisional filter for their planning effort.

Does your strategy align perfectly with your brand’s core attribute? Does this plan solidify your place in the market or does it weaken your brand’s perceived value? If you don’t have a grounded brand in place, your strategy might end up hurting your medical business.

If you’d like to learn more about brand building and how can you build a mouth-watering brand, you can check our free healthcare branding guide .

2) Focusing on too many metrics and KPIs

Getting distracted by too many metrics is the fast lane to a crumbling healthcare plan. Many practices try to implement a strategy but end up focusing on the wrong metrics and getting overwhelmed.

It is best to list out critical KPIs (key performance indicators) for your medical brand before embarking on a strategy.

3) Lack of professional facilitators

Any healthcare strategic plan needs a good facilitator. A facilitator that has a great knowledge of the healthcare industry know-how and its business side of things. Common trap healthcare organizations or practices fall into is trying to implement these strategies in-house. This leads to unproductive workshops and unfruitful results.

We strongly advise you to outsource these strategies to great facilitators that have past-experience running healthcare strategic planning workshops. This will save you time and provide you with the best result for your medical business.

Best Healthcare Planning Strategies (With Examples)

Let’s go through some of the essentials of strategic planning methods in healthcare.

1) S.W.O.T Analysis Strategy

S.W.O.T is a strategic planning technique used to define your healthcare organization’s (or practice’s) Strengths , Weaknesses , Opportunities , and Threats in the competitive landscape.

SWOT Analysis arms you with a clear overview of critical metrics that are key for your performance and the overall success of your medical business.

Let’s see some examples of SWOT Diagrams in healthcare.

Hospital strategic plan: SWOT example

Strategic planning in nursing: swot example, 2) s.w.o.t strategy canvas™.

SWOT Analysis is not enough to measure the success of your efforts.

That’s why our team at unnus developed the SWOT Strategy Canvas™ (SSC), a visual representation graph of the impact SWOT has on your medical brand.

The SSC could be conducted every 6 months to track the efficiency and the effort of SWOT.

SSC graph tracks the Impact Rate of each element of the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). The goal is to witness a low Impact Rate of weakness and threats and a high Impact Rate of Strengths and Opportunities.

If you’d like to know more about the how-tos and other details of SWOT analysis and SSC, check our step-by-step guide on SWOT here .

3) Brand Vision Strategy

Brand Vision Strategy is a planning method used to define concrete objectives for your medical brand and set up trackable metrics for the overarching vision.

The Brand Vision Strategy has three stages:

  • 15 Year Vision Timeline
  • Brand Obituary
  • Vision Strategy Matrix

Let’s see how the three stages overlap.

#First~ The 15 Year Vision Plan

The 15 Year vision Plan is where we start defining the higher goals and aspirations that your medical business needs to achieve.

The benefit of this stage are threefold:

  • It ensures that you know where your medical business is headed
  • It works as a pathway to check back against when measuring your progress
  • Forces you and your team to aim high and set a bold goals

#Second~ Brand Obituary

What will happen if your practice closes its door tomorrow? Would journalists write headlines heralding your past achievements, or would their stories simply add you to a list of bygones? Would employees wonder how it could have ended, or would they have known it was inevitable? Would patients mourn your passing, or would the demise of your medical brand go unnoticed?

Unlike the 15 Year Vision Plan, this method works as a risk assessment and proactive approach for future commitment.

This exercise will force you to think through some of the key elements that make up your brand.

Here’s an example of this technique from our client, a dental practice Confidental™.

#Third~ Brand Vision Matrix

In this stage, we get strategic by defining a set of metrics to track and check back against your overarching vision. This stage focuses on tracking and measuring your progress towards the final goal of the strategy.

The metrics that we’re going to measure in this stage fall into four categories:

  • Some of the most important measures of internal business performance are overall productivity rates, ability to meet deadlines on time, and ability to achieve previously set goals and this category will contain all necessary metrics for that.
  • Tracking how your medical staff is growing will help facilitate the overall team goals. You’ll want to keep track of employee morale, how knowledgeable staff is, and how reliably they use the business’s best practices.
  • It is critical to capture the efficiency of your stakeholders to gauge the overall performance of your medical business. This section is focused on staff, team, and shareholders.
  • Most medical businesses find it useful to measure the business’s progress toward financial goals. Common measures of financial performance include revenues, return on investment, earnings, cost per case, etc.

Each category will contain the following:

  • Set of objectives that are relevant to it
  • Measurement and matrices
  • Progress Record of each target
  • Initiatives (what are we doing hit that target)

Here’s an example of a hospital’s Brand Vision Matrix:

4) Brand Cause And Effect Strategy

This strategy helps you pinpoint the root causes of complex problems that are hindering your business growth. The premise of this strategy is to take on a big problem and start dissecting it into categorical components or “sub issues”.

This way you can spot deeply-embedded issues that are causing the main problem. You can think of this strategy as more a way to treat the problem rather than finding it.

The benefits of this strategy are:

  • Better visualization of your medical business risks
  • Treating the causes rather than the symptoms of the problem
  • Gets you out of the tunnel vision trap and provide you with a clear picture of the challenges your business might face

Here’s an example for this strategic planning technique for a hospital

5) Patient Journey Strategy

The patient journey strategy (PJS) is a visual representation strategy of your patient’s experience. It allows you to capture the path that a patient follows when they book an appointment, sign up for a care service membership, or otherwise interact with your medical business.

This strategy focuses on every single touchpoint (places where patients interact with your business) and hone in on what can be improved, fixed, or removed.

Patients are the lifeblood of your business and zero in on your patient’s pain points, challenges, and needs are critical for success.

Some of the benefits of using this strategy are:

  • Anticipate multiple patient pathways
  • Understand the patient’s perspective
  • Inform your staff and employee about what should be improved
  • Target patient more closely and increase personalization
  • Improve patient experience
  • Uncovering easy-to-overlook aspects of your business

Here’s a snapshot of a patient journey of medical practice and how the team identified potential issues and problems

Click here for to larger version .

6) Risk Assessment Matrix Framework

The Risk Assessment Matrix creates a framework where you can assess the urgency and the likelihood of any potential threat that might affect your business.

This strategy also allows you to better allocate your efforts across multiple aspects of your business based on the potential severity of any risk. In addition, it’s a great way to visualize and prioritize where and when should you take action against any business threats.

Risks in this framework should be ranked according to low probability and severity (one- colored green) to the highest possible likelihood (ten-colored red). Ranking them in this way lets your team tackle the biggest threats with a sharp action plan.

Here’s an example of this framework:

You can access the full version here .

7) OKR (Objectives & Key Results) Framework

OKRs stands for Objectives & Key Results. An OKR framework helps medical businesses solve their critical organizational problems. As a framework, OKRs also help healthcare leadership teams discuss how the work of the staff ties back to the overall business strategy.

OKRs should be transparent to everyone: top-down, bottom-up, and cross-functional. When everyone’s looking at the same framework, everyone has the opportunity to work toward the same outcomes.

Objectives are the vaccine to “blue sky thinking” – their goal is to help articulate what you want to accomplish. An objective is significant, concrete, and drives you to get tasks done.

Key results are the way you’re going to get those tasks done. Specific and measurable, these quantitative goals act as benchmarks for how you’ll reach objectives. (Think outcomes or results in real numbers.)

8) Brand Prioritization Framework

The Brand Prioritization Framework (BPF), or priority matrix, helps your medical teams prioritize initiatives or service lines based on their impact on your medical brand and the level of effort needed for success.

With nine “buckets” or areas of interest, your team can decide if an idea or plan is low, medium, or high effort. The team can also accordingly decide if that plan will likely have low, medium, or high impact.

As a visual framework, the Brand Prioritization Framework helps you promptly reach an agreement on quick wins, big projects, filler tasks, or anything that could waste time.

An example of the BPF for might be:

You can access a large resolution here .

The ‘secret’ to a fruitful healthcare strategic plan

A great healthcare strategy is always directed by the brand’s attributes. A strategic plan won’t take any business anywhere if it is not guided by your branding strategy.

A planning strategy could potentially hurt your healthcare brand equity (your perceived worth) if it veers off from your brand’s positioning . If you’d like to learn more about branding in healthcare and how it can overhaul your strategic plan, you can check our guide here .

If you’re busy and looking for great healthcare brand strategy facilitators, contact us here and we’d gladly help you.

  • what is strategic planning in healthcare
  • the benefit of strategic planning in healthcare
  • 3 common mistakes when implementing healthcare strategic planning
  • best healthcare planning strategies with examples
  • the secret to a fruitful healthcare strategic plan

Sara Seirawan

Sara Seirawan, Head of content, manages unnus's content distribution and marketing efforts. She's also a chief author at unnus Magazine.

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10+ Hospital Strategic Plan Examples – PDF

hospital strategic plan

Having a strategic plan can make medical facilities more aware of its vision as well as the steps that they need to take to get there.

  • 30+ Risk Plan Examples and Samples
  • 40+ Communication Plan Examples and Samples

For one, hospitals need to create an official document that can help them to prepare for changes in the industry as well as the expectation of different entities toward the quality of healthcare services and the effectiveness of hospital health processes and systems. There are different kinds of hospital strategic examples ranging from those that are incorporated in an annual operational plan  up to a wide ranged five-year hospital strategic plans.

Creating a hospital strategic plan is a challenge as you need to ensure that you will be working with the hospital’s resources, deliverable, and capacity while ensuring that all the factors for successes will be considered. To guide you in the development of a basic hospital strategic plan, we have listed several hospital strategic plan examples that can serve as your references.

Hospital Strategic Plan Template

hospital strategic plan template

  • Google Docs

Size: A4, US

Hospital and Health Service Strategic Plan Example

hospital and health service strategic plan example

Comprehensive Hospital Strategic Plan Example

comprehensive hospital strategic plan example

Strategic Planning for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems Example

strategic planning for hospitals and healthcare systems example

Size: 229 KB

Things to Do before Writing a Hospital Strategic Plan

A hotel business operational plan can guide the hotel management to know the steps that it need to take in varying circumstances without veering away from the realization of the hotel’s aspirations, objectives, and vision. The same goes with the usage of a hospital strategic plan.

Through the usage of a hospital strategic plan, the stakeholders of the hospital can be more aware on how they can take part in the development processes that are necessary for the facility to be in the state where it would like to be in the future. Listed below are some of the things that you can do so you can prepare yourself before writing a hospital strategic plan .

1. Look into existing examples of hospital strategic plans. It will depend on you if you will browse through examples that are of the same nature with the strategic plan that you would like to create or if you want to review those that are used in different processes and purposes. You may also see strategic action plan examples .

Broadening your knowledge when it comes to hospital strategic plan development can make it easier for you to gather all the essential details needed for your own document.

2. There are different healthcare reforms, regulations, and requirements that are needed to be considered before you can come up with an effective hospital strategic plan. With this, you must first be aware of the things that you need to look into before the development of the actual and final strategic plan of the hospital or medical facility. You may also like personal strategic plans examples .

3. Keep in mind that there will always be new trends and other demands that may arise in the future. Hence, you must be flexible with your ways on how you can achieve your goals and objectives . However, you also need to come up with a clear action plan that you can just tweak in particular areas so that you can still be guided within the execution of your desired activities and the incorporation of your strategies.

Five-Year Strategic Plan for a Hospital Example

five year strategic plan for a hospital example

Hospital Strategic Plan Presentation Example

hospital strategic plan presentation example

Size: 857 KB

Standard Hospital Strategic Plan Example

standard hospital strategic plan example

How to Ensure That You Will Come Up with a Measurable and Attainable Hospital Strategic Plan

Different kinds of corporate plans work in many ways that one. You cannot expect a hospital strategic plan to work just like a marketing plan  or an event management plan. Hence, it is essential for you to ensure the unique characteristics and specifications of the hospital strategic plan that you will create. Here are some of the ways on how you can come up with a hospital strategic plan that is both measurable and attainable:

1. Set all the time duration where action plans must be implemented. You have to come up with a time-bound execution of your call-to-actions so that you can maximize the usage of resources and the implementation of tactics and strategies.

2. Align the vision of the hospital strategic plan with the core values, mission, and vision of the hospital. You have to ensure that the strategic plans that you will develop are relevant and associated with the things that the hospital would like to achieve. You may also see sales strategic plan examples .

3. You have to be aware of the core of the hospital strategic plan. This can help you to stick with the things that you would like to execute in the beginning rather than be affected by irrelevant factors that you will face within the implementation of the document’s content. However, you need to ensure that you will still consider shifts of trends, opportunities, and threats when executing your simple action plans .

4. Set proper and objective metrics that can guide the evaluation of the hospital strategic plan’s results or effects. This can help you develop the document through the years depending on the needs of the hospital and its stakeholders. You may also like security strategic plan examples .

Detailed Hospital Strategic Plan Example

detailed hospital strategic plan example

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Basic Hospital Strategic Plan Example

basic hospital strategic plan example

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Why Do You Need to Create a Hospital Strategic Plan?

Like an  affiliate marketing plan , a hospital strategic plan must also be well put together so that all the terms, scope, and limitations of the program where it will be used can be identified. A comprehensive and well-made hospital strategic plan can help medical facilities a lot. But before developing the document, do you really understand why there is a need for a hospital strategic plan?

A few of the reasons why it is important for you to create a hospital strategic plan include the following:

1. There are already a lot of changes that have occurred and is expected to occur within the relationship of hospitals to each stakeholders like suppliers, employees, and patients.

With this, there is a need for the healthcare financial model to be aligned with the operations of the hospital and the demands that it is getting as well as the standards that it needs to maintain. A hospital strategic plan can make changes within the operations more seamless and effective. You may also see one-page strategic plan examples .

2. Opportunities are already out there and hospitals need to get them to ensure competitive advantage. As an example, a hospital strategic plan may contain action plans that will maximize the potential and usage of technology. Digital and electronic transactions can make the hospital more appealing, which is a great way to increase its sales as well as its relevance. You may also like procurement strategy plan examples .

3. The workforce of the hospital needs to work together to achieve common goals. You can do this if you can provide them a document like a hospital strategic plan that can directly specify their obligations and the deliverable that are expected from them. You may also check out community strategic plan examples .

Five-Year Hospital Strategic Plan Example

five year hospital strategic plan example

Hospital Strategic Plan Example

hospital strategic plan example

Useful Tips That You Can Incorporate in Making an Effective Hospital Strategic Plan

An effective hospital strategic plan is one that is both complete and relevant. You have to include all the necessary information in a well-arranged manner so you can direct the stakeholders of the hospital accordingly. You may also like health and safety strategic plan examples .

Some of the useful tips that you can refer to if you will make a hospital strategic plan include the following:

1. Align other kinds of strategic plans that are used by the hospital with the document that you will come up with. As an example, you can look into the objectives of a  nursing strategic plan  so you can incorporate their goals with the objective of the hospital strategic plan that you will make. All areas of hospital operations must be considered for your strategies and action plans to be fully maximized.

2. Create an outline of all the information that you will include in the hospital strategic plan. Being organized in doing the document can help you to not forget any important information. It can also make it easier for you to come up with a discussion flow that is clear and understandable. You can use a template as your document guide if you want your format to be more sleek and precise. You may also see maintenance strategy plan examples .

3. Assess the previous results of the hospital strategic plans used by the medical facility. Make sure to not use under-performing strategies and tactics. Develop updated and new general action plans that can truly help the hospital be sustainable and profitable while giving the best healthcare to people.

Do not forget to refer to our hospital strategic plan examples so you can have more ideas on how to present the content that you want to showcase and disseminate with regards your hospital operations. Always check the entirety of the document before putting it to use so you can ensure its efficiency.

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Strategic Planning In Healthcare: Models, Examples & Benefits

By RisingMax

June 28, 2023

Strategic Planning In Healthcare: Models, Examples & Benefits

A healthcare organization's strategic plan caters to identifying the necessary actions that need to streamline the complex process of management. Undoubtedly, strategic planning in healthcare is a daunting task and requires close monitoring. Various areas that need attention are:

  • Healthcare services and facilities
  • Medical facilities, equipment, and hospital supplies
  • Human resources
  • Information management
  • Medical records
  • Patient services
  • Discharge lounge

The above areas cannot be managed manually and need a modern solution in the form of software that can streamline processes. Seek a solution that can make healthcare strategic planning a cakewalk. Get your free quote!

For the most part, the healthcare business is too complicated and perplexing for most people to comprehend. Because of technical developments or political mandates, it is constantly evolving. It's becoming increasingly crucial to plan for your healthcare organization's success. Your company can better prepare for the unknown incidents by planning in healthcare for the future. Solid strategic planning in healthcare benefits all levels of your company, no matter how big or little it is.

Align the current state of IT with your business strategy by hiring the most trustworthy Healthcare Development Company

What is strategic planning in healthcare.

Healthcare strategic planning is setting objectives and goals for where the organization wants to go in the long run. Healthcare organizations like hospitals, clinics, and private practices must engage in this crucial activity to ensure that their services are effective, efficient, and sustainable in the face of constant shifts in the healthcare environment.  

In order for your company to prosper, strategic planning is essential. Understanding how your company works is crucial to developing a successful strategic plan for the overall healthcare system. 

You may need to examine your organization's hierarchy from time to time. Determining your company's goals and charting a course to attain them inspires your entire team to succeed with you and understand healthcare strategic planning.

Understanding The Strategic Planning Of Healthcare Organizations

Strategic planning in healthcare organizations entails laying out the particular procedures that must be taken to achieve specific objectives. 

While there are various types and levels of strategy, the goal of all strategies is to align an organization's actions with its declared mission or values. 

Organizations are increasingly needing to re-calibrate their healthcare plans to fit current market trends and evolving patient-care techniques. 

Any professional interested in learning more about the inner workings of healthcare organizations should be aware of the various sorts of tactics employed in the field, as well as their significance in ensuring an organization's success.

We hope now you have an idea about what is a strategic plan in healthcare. Let’s get into depth to learn more about strategic planning in hospitals and examples of strategic goals in healthcare.

Strategic Planning For the Future

“You may not be able to control the future, but health care strategic planning may define a direction for your practice and optimize your options for affecting your environment,” according to a paper published in the Journal of Oncology Practice. 

The strategic planning process in healthcare comprises taking proactive actions toward a goal rather than simply dealing with problems as they emerge. 

Healthcare strategy is critical to an organization's long-term performance because it provides the framework for making daily decisions that are in line with its goals.

Healthcare Strategy Planning At Different Levels

Healthcare strategies differ in nature (prospective or emergent), as well as organizational level, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) (corporate, business, or functional).

1. Types Of Strategies

Most companies, regardless of their size or mission, use some type of strategy to achieve their long-term objectives. Organizations use two different sorts of strategies: prospective and emergent.

Strategy For The Future: The majority of large healthcare organizations create detailed plans to address future concerns that may affect their facilities and the healthcare industry as a whole. These companies must concentrate on developing strategies that anticipate future resource requirements, such as money and manpower. Prospective strategy is the phrase for this form of long-term strategic planning in healthcare organizations. Prospective policies should also allow for flexibility in the event of unanticipated healthcare changes. For setting a healthcare strategy example, it should be developed on an anticipated nursing shortage in the coming years, but the shortage turns out to be less severe than expected, a flexible strategy would contain a plan for reallocating resources to other areas.

Emergent Techniques: Emergent strategies entail a retrospective examination of past events in order to make better decisions in the future. Healthcare market fluctuations can result from events such as the installation of new healthcare policies, swings in prescription drug pricing, and outbreaks of epidemic diseases, all of which require providers to experiment and adapt on a regular basis. Emergent strategy organizations must be exceptionally adaptable in order to re-evaluate internal strategies and fast re-calibrate to better suit current market trends. Many providers examine their competitors' strategies and apply tactics that appear to be successful for other industry leaders.

2. Organizational Levels Of Strategy

There are numerous strategic planning in healthcare organizations, in addition to prospective and emergent strategy approaches. Corporate, business, and functional levels are frequently used to split organizational tactics.

Corporate-Level Strategy: A board of directors, executive leaders, and stakeholders are frequently involved at this level of planning. The corporate level oversees healthcare strategy for the entire organization, with a focus on defining mission and big-picture goals like fund allocation and business deals, as the highest layer of the decision-making process.

Business-Level Strategy: Specific product lines are prioritized at this level of strategy. Managers have the authority to design strategies depending on the demands of their instructions, and business-level healthcare strategic planning focuses on projects in development. Managers integrate corporate directives and intentions into actionable strategies for specific projects and employees.

Functional-Level Strategy: The functional level, which supports the corporate and business levels, is the third tier in an organization's strategic approach. At this level, the emphasis is on the company's final products or services. To better connect products and services with the company's client base, a functional-level strategy incorporates research, marketing, production, and distribution. Managers at all levels must examine how their plans will affect individuals throughout the organization while formulating strategies. 

For example, a strategy targeted at enhancing healthcare services during a facility's development should take into account the additional hours that current employees may be required to work before new professionals can be hired.

Similarly, if administrators want to devote additional resources to a certain department at a healthcare facility, the strategy must consider how resource reductions would affect other departments. Information should ideally flow from the top down to the bottom up, with the final product fulfilling all objectives and driving business success.

3. Developing Strategies With Advanced Education

Healthcare strategy in organizations aids medical institutions in achieving their business goals while maintaining the highest level of patient care. Professionals who want to learn more about healthcare plans so they can assess, devise, and implement them may need more than a bachelor's degree.

To effectively manage an entire facility, clinic, or department, healthcare administrators or executives must have a thorough understanding of strategic planning models in healthcare. 

A graduate degree, such as a Master of Science in Health Administration from Regis College, will enable professionals to add new abilities to their previous foundation of experience, allowing them to integrate healthcare strategic planning models.

Why Is Strategic Planning Important In Healthcare?

Wondering to know why strategic planning is important in healthcare.With each passing day, a new technology is taking over the market and the healthcare sector should be on its toes for this. Let us understand with some factors.

Improve Communication Between All Chains

It's easy for departments at all levels to lose track of what's going on. Employees and stakeholders alike want to make sure that your company has a long-term future.

They want to know where your company is going and how you plan to get there. Healthcare strategic planning models can help you generate clarity and improve communication. 

The primary concerns, your organization's vision, and goals, and the steps to get there should all be addressed in your strategic plan. Your employees and stakeholders will have more trust and confidence in your company.

Creating And Communicating A Vision

With this in mind, you may have a positive impact at all levels of your company. Employees will be dedicated and driven to assist you in realizing your goals. Stakeholders will be able to make prudent financial decisions with the confidence and clarity they require.

Strategic planning in healthcare that is well-developed, implemented, and communicated may assist each of your employees in carrying out your long-term goal for a prosperous future.

Increased Employee Motivation And Engagement

Every one of your employees wishes to be noticed and heard. Recognition from their superiors can have a significant impact on their productivity, engagement, and safety management. Every employee wishes to be given the authority to make decisions that will benefit the company. 

This also encourages them to go above and beyond the job description or performance evaluation's minimal acceptable requirements. Employees will be unmotivated to develop themselves if their employer has a clear goal and a well-executed game plan.

Authority And Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a style of management that motivates employees to work more and achieve greater results. It contains strategies that have been recognized in the literature on organizational behavior. 

Transformational leaders have the ability to properly express their organization's goal, believe in their staff, and achieve high levels of performance. Strategic management requires you to help your staff understand how their positions can contribute to your company's purpose and vision.

Increase Teamwork And Collaboration

In order to provide high-quality healthcare, teamwork, and cooperation are vital. Employees must collaborate in order for your company to succeed. 

Every healthcare industry needs to work together to improve its performance and service. In the healthcare industry, effective strategic planning models in healthcare can bring your employees together to produce high-quality care, excellent customer service, and enhanced productivity.

Before sharing your healthcare strategic planning with your staff, give it some thought. A well-thought-out and implemented strategic plan can help to promote teamwork, performance responsibility, and employee engagement. You may swiftly attain your organization's long-term goals if all levels work together in harmony.

Strategic Planning In Healthcare

More Benefits Of Strategic Planning In Healthcare

The four major benefits of strategic planning in healthcare are:

  • Proactiveness 
  • Increases efficiency
  • Market share & profitability
  • Reliable 


Healthcare organizations can become proactive rather than reactive with the aid of strategic planning. Strategic planning allows providers to foresee negative situations well in advance of them and take the appropriate precautions.

Boost Performance 

For healthcare organizations, having a strategic planning process in place serves as a blueprint for aligning operational actions with established goals. As a result, operational efficiency is increased. It directs management conversations and decision-making when assessing resource and budget requirements to meet the primary objectives.

Market Share & Profitability

Strategic planning provides organizations with useful information about market trends, consumer categories, and healthcare product and service offers that might affect their success. Growing profitability and market share will be facilitated by a targeted and well-planned approach to transforming all sales and marketing activities into the best results.

Healthcare organizations that lack a solid foundation, concentration, and foresight will find it difficult to ride the next wave due to the industry's high level of dynamicity. Healthcare organizations that utilize strategic planning are more focused on their goals and methods for achieving them.

Let’s see some of the advantages of strategic planning models in healthcare are various, owing to the fact that healthcare planning is made up of many different elements. Hospitals and healthcare organizations, like most businesses, operate on multiple levels. Health systems must plan for the future in a variety of ways, from patient care to financing. 

Strategic planning, unlike typical plans, considers what is to come for every area of the company, including anticipated changes in all departments.

When looking at a company's productivity, it's easy to understand how important strategic planning is in healthcare. Most organizations assume they are operating at maximum efficiency; nevertheless, a thorough examination of productivity can reveal areas where improvements can be made and more specific strategies can be established.

The following are some of the important areas where the strategic planning process in healthcare organizations can make a substantial difference:

  • The Workplace Environment
  • Objectives and Goals
  • Budgeting for Operations
  • Decisions on Service Lines
  • Risk Assessment and Management
  • Capital Projections
  • Accounting for Costs
  • Long-Term Forecasting

What Qualifies As Good Examples Of Strategic Planning In Healthcare?

Many businesses are seeking assistance, looking for a sample strategic plan to utilize as a benchmark against which their own plans can be measured. Strategic plans, on the other hand, can take many different forms, shapes, and sizes; they are not a “one-size-fits-all” document.

Healthcare strategic planning models with goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics exist alongside more complicated plan structures with several levels and layers. 

The level of responsibility you want to create, the time schedule for implementing the plan, and the culture of your business all influence how well-developed your plan should be. You'll see an example of a strategic plan in this post, which is very prevalent among firms today.

Examples Of Strategic Planning In Healthcare: The Foundation

At a bare minimum, strategic and operational plans include three layers, each of which serves a specific purpose. To demonstrate the relationship from the bottom-up, these are listed in reverse order as they appear in a plan:

Tactics are task assignments that must be completed on a one-to-one basis. The strategies are made up of these action elements. For example, if your client satisfaction strategy focuses on an annual client event, you'll need to execute a number of tasks before the event can take place. These are the methods, which have due dates, and deliverables, and are delegated to specific persons to carry out.

A name is required for the collection of tactics, and this name is the strategy. The strategy's name serves as a focal point for something specific, while the strategy itself houses the individual approaches. As a result, strategies are the broad, action-oriented items that we use to accomplish our goals. 

The client event technique in this case is intended to boost overall client happiness. Additional client satisfaction techniques may exist, and each of these additional strategies will have its own set of approaches.

Objectives are measurable and quantifiable goals that address the questions of how much and when. You can't improve what you don't measure, according to an old adage. As a result, plans without quantifiable objectives are little more than task lists. 

  • Baseline performance, targeted performance, and a deadline for accomplishing the goal are all examples of objectives. 
  • Objectives must be included in any examples of strategic planning in healthcare because they are the foundation for planning.

Examples Of Strategic Planning In Healthcare: Strategic Themes And Goals

While objectives, plans, and tactics are essential examples of strategic goals in healthcare, they are not the only ones. Many plans are more comprehensive and include extra hierarchy levels. 

Strategic themes and goals are the levels that come before objectives and are commonly referred to as strategic themes and goals. As a result, a properly completed plan might look like the healthcare strategic planning sample below:

Quality, Safety, People, Customers, Service, Finance, and Growth are examples of one- to three-word affinity group headers used to compartmentalize strategic and operational strategies. Four to six categories tend to be the most prevalent among companies that use strategic themes.

Examples Of Strategic Goals In Healthcare

These are broad statements that help the organization's vision statement become more meaningful and time-bound. Goal statements are used to translate the vision to specific strategic themes if strategic themes are also utilized.

The American Heart Association (AHA) issued research in which they discussed the significance of supporting laws that promote heart health. For example, they advocated for better school nutrition standards and more access to safe locations for exercise, among other measures that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.


Like Goals, Objectives are quantifiable items that measure the effectiveness of your strategic plan and, ultimately, your goals. They should track how you intend to improve, decrease, or maintain key performance indicators that are crucial to the goal's accomplishment.

Strategies determine how your strategic plan will be executed and, eventually, move the needle on Objectives, based on your grasp of success measurements. Initiatives, projects, and programs are terms used in some organizations to describe strategies. Strategies, whichever name is used, lay the groundwork for the actual labor that will make up the plan.

A strategy must be appropriately broken down in order to successfully execute a strategic plan. These are, in many circumstances, your strategies. 

Tactics are the key elements of your strategy that will help you track your progress toward accomplishment. Tactics are milestones or significant deliverables of the strategy, not quick jobs that may be performed by checking a box.

Strategic Planning In Healthcare

The Most Cutting-Edge Questions In All Healthcare Strategic Planning

Despite the fact that every business has a plan that is personalized to its specific aims and objectives, hospitals and healthcare systems should ask themselves a few key questions before embarking on knowing strategic planning models in healthcare.

What Are The Organization's Financial Objectives

Every organization has its own set of financial objectives. Focusing on precise, attainable financial goals for the future of any organization's finances is critical to ensuring that the healthcare strategic planning models are long-term beneficial.

In order to make strategic decisions, it is necessary to consider the financial ramifications of the changes that come with new plans for the future.

Prior to strategic planning, set targets to ensure that these plans will have a good impact on the firm in the future.

Where Can The Company Expand?

Just because strategic planning models in healthcare are in place does not mean it is as effective as they could be. Strategic plans that are effective take into account where a firm can expand. 

Growth is often impossible in one area but attainable in another. Before beginning to plan, healthcare organizations should consider the financial benefits of expansion through new locations, access points, and services.

What Are The Needs Of The People?

Hospitals and healthcare systems are designed to meet the needs of patients in whatever way they require. Although there will always be a significant demand for healthcare facilities, the way in which these institutions are needed may alter.

In order to plan forward for what patients may require, it is necessary to understand future market trends and industry orientations.

How Can The Company Close The Gap In Terms Of Accomplishing Key Success Factors?

Many times, healthcare organizations recognize the success characteristics that are required to carry out the institution's mission, but they struggle to put them into practice in day-to-day operations. So that success can be reached efficiently, strategic planning should include a strategy to carry out these criteria.

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Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template

Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template

Creating an effective strategic plan for your hospital is essential for driving growth and delivering exceptional patient care. With ClickUp's Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template, hospital administrators and healthcare executives can easily outline their goals, objectives, and key initiatives to ensure long-term success.

This template empowers you to:

  • Define and prioritize initiatives to improve patient care and safety
  • Allocate resources efficiently to maximize operational efficiency
  • Track progress and measure success against your strategic goals

Whether you're planning for expansion, enhancing quality measures, or streamlining processes, ClickUp's Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template provides a comprehensive framework to guide your hospital's growth and success. Get started today and ensure a brighter future for your healthcare organization.

Benefits of Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template

When using the Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template, healthcare administrators can experience the following benefits:

  • Streamlined decision-making process by aligning hospital goals and objectives
  • Improved patient care and satisfaction through targeted initiatives
  • Increased operational efficiency by optimizing resource allocation and workflow
  • Enhanced financial performance through strategic revenue generation and cost management
  • Long-term success and sustainability by adapting to changing healthcare trends and regulations

Main Elements of Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template

ClickUp's Hospital Sample Strategic Plan template provides a comprehensive solution for planning and executing strategic initiatives in the healthcare industry.

Key elements of this template include:

  • Custom Statuses: Track the progress of tasks with 5 different statuses: Cancelled, Complete, In Progress, On Hold, and To Do, ensuring clear visibility of the project's current state.
  • Custom Fields: Utilize 8 custom fields such as Duration Days, Impact, Progress, and Team Members to capture and analyze vital information for effective decision-making and progress tracking.
  • Custom Views: Access 6 different views, including Progress, Gantt, Workload, Timeline, Initiatives, and Getting Started Guide, to visualize the project's timeline, workload distribution, and strategic initiatives.
  • Progress Tracking: Monitor project progress with the Progress view, track dependencies, set milestones, and allocate resources efficiently with the Gantt chart view.
  • Collaboration: Assign team members, define project leads, and allocate tasks to relevant departments using the custom fields, fostering collaboration and accountability.
  • Guidance: Access the Getting Started Guide view to quickly familiarize yourself with the template and streamline your strategic planning process.

How to Use Strategic Plan for Hospital Sample

Creating a strategic plan for a hospital can be a complex process, but with the Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template in ClickUp, you can streamline the process and ensure that your plan is comprehensive and effective. Follow the steps below to get started:

1. Identify your hospital's mission and vision

The first step in creating a strategic plan is to clearly define your hospital's mission and vision. What is the purpose of your hospital and what do you hope to achieve? This will serve as the guiding principle for all of your strategic initiatives.

Use the Goals feature in ClickUp to document and track your hospital's mission and vision.

2. Conduct a SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a critical component of any strategic plan. It helps you identify your hospital's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By understanding these factors, you can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and address potential challenges.

Use the Table view in ClickUp to create a table that outlines your hospital's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

3. Set strategic goals and objectives

Based on the findings of your SWOT analysis, it's time to set strategic goals and objectives for your hospital. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). They should align with your hospital's mission and vision and address the key areas identified in the SWOT analysis.

Use the Goals feature in ClickUp to set and track your hospital's strategic goals and objectives.

4. Develop action plans and implementation strategies

Once you have set your strategic goals and objectives, it's important to develop action plans and implementation strategies. These plans should outline the specific steps and initiatives that need to be taken to achieve each goal. Assign responsibilities to team members and set deadlines to ensure accountability and progress.

Use tasks and subtasks in ClickUp to break down your action plans and implementation strategies into manageable tasks and assign them to the appropriate team members.

By following these steps and utilizing the Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template in ClickUp, you can create a comprehensive and effective strategic plan for your hospital that will guide your organization towards success.

add new template customization

Get Started with ClickUp’s Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template

Hospital administrators or healthcare executives can use this Hospital Sample Strategic Plan Template to create a roadmap for the hospital's development and growth, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and improved patient care.

First, hit "Add Template" to sign up for ClickUp and add the template to your Workspace. Make sure you designate which Space or location in your Workspace you’d like this template applied.

Next, invite relevant members or guests to your Workspace to start collaborating.

Now you can take advantage of the full potential of this template to create a strategic plan:

  • Use the Progress View to track the overall progress of the strategic plan and ensure alignment with goals and objectives
  • The Gantt View will provide a visual timeline of key initiatives, helping you manage dependencies and deadlines
  • Utilize the Workload View to balance resource allocation and ensure teams are not overwhelmed
  • The Timeline View will provide a comprehensive overview of the strategic plan, highlighting important milestones
  • Use the Initiatives View to track individual initiatives, monitor progress, and assign tasks to team members
  • Refer to the Getting Started Guide View for a step-by-step walkthrough on how to effectively use the template
  • Organize initiatives into five different statuses: Cancelled, Complete, In Progress, On Hold, To Do, to keep track of progress
  • Update statuses as initiatives progress to keep stakeholders informed
  • Monitor and analyze initiatives to ensure successful implementation of the strategic plan

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Tips for creating a strategic plan for hospitals, 5 best practices for creating a hospital strategic plan in uncertain times.

I came across this article the other day on Becker Hospital Review and thought it would be a great one to share for those in the medical field who are in the strategic planning process.  James R. Trimarchi, director of strategic planning at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, explains what he believes are the 5 best practices for creating a hospital strategic plan in uncertain times.

Healthcare reform legislation has increased demands concerning quality, cost and efficiency of hospitals and health systems. One way to manage these expectations is to create a strategic plan that clearly outlines goals for the future and how to reach them. “Strategic planning is more important now than it’s ever been,” says James R. Trimarchi, director of strategic planning at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Although strategic planning can help hospitals manage changes from new rules and regulations, it presents its own challenges. “Strategic planning works best when the marketplace is either in a stable trajectory or a known trajectory. The current healthcare environment is neither,” Mr. Trimarchi says. However, practices like frequent evaluation can help combat the uncertain future. Mr. Trimarchi offers five tips for creating a strategic plan in today’s world.

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1. Follow the strategic plan anatomy. The strategic plan establishes several strategies that help focus resources to better achieve mid-range goals that support the organization’s mission and vision. A strategic plan has a cascading anatomy. The mission and vision serve as the touch stone and rarely change. Goals are three- to five-year targets that if achieved would move the organization towards its mission and vision. Strategies are specific actionable approaches. Measures monitor progress towards the goals and are the tool used to determine if particular strategies are working. If a measure indicates a strategy is not effectively moving the organization towards its goals, then the strategy should be discontinued and a different strategy should be launched. Adhering to this cascading anatomy (mission, vision, goals and strategies tracked by measures) helps hospitals avoid drifting away from the core mission and vision in uncertain times yet allows organizations to remain flexible enough to respond to changes in regulations and the marketplace by reallocating resources, Mr. Trimarchi says.

2. Push strategies close to the mission and vision. The larger the separation between strategies and the core mission and vision the more regulatory or marketplace changes can disrupt the relevance of the strategic plan. Choosing strategies closely linked to the mission and vision introduces a level of certainty to an otherwise vague future.

3. Focus on a few goals. Following the “less is more” philosophy is key to forming a successful strategic plan, according to Mr. Trimarchi. If the plan includes too many goals, “not only can you not keep them straight, but you dilute resources,” he says. Instead of a list of 20 goals, Mr. Trimarchi suggests concentrating on the top five to six concerns. Hospitals can then reallocate resources to support and achieve the most important goals.

4. Be realistic. “Identifying the doable” is essential to strategic plans. Keeping goals and strategies realistic will help hospitals make real improvements in the organization, whereas spending time on impractical goals will stifle hospitals’ progress. A common mistake people make when forming a strategic plan is including strategies or goals that are “too grandiose without enough capital or resources to accomplish them” Mr. Trimarchi says. Identifying feasible strategies may be particularly challenging in the current environment. “Ascertaining the doable is somewhat dependent upon your ability to predict the future,” Mr. Trimarchi says. He suggests leaders honestly ask themselves whether they can actually implement a strategy to help ascertain whether a strategy is realistic.

5. Develop really good measures. One of the most important elements of an effective strategic plan is developing measures to monitor progress made towards the goals. Depending on what the measures show, hospitals may have to alter strategies to better reach their goals. “It is so important today to have really good measures to monitor where you’re going because the environment is changing so fast and you may need to change strategies,” Mr. Trimarchi says.Mr. Trimarchi describes a measure Southwestern Vermont Medical Center used to assess progress in its goal of reducing CT scan utilization. SVMC wanted to lower CT use per patient because of the harmful effects of radiation. Simultaneously, however, the hospital was trying to open a new market. If the hospital measured the overall volume of CT scans, the numbers would show an increase because of additional patients from the new market. Instead, SVMC tracked the number of CT scans for patients from a particular zip code in the original market. This technique more accurately measured progress towards the goal of reducing CT scan utilization because it reflected CT use per person within a defined geography. As the overall use of CT scans increased due to an expanding market, the CT scans per zip code decreased, suggesting lower usage per person. This example demonstrates the complexity of thinking required to develop useful strategic measures.

The rate at which hospitals should measure progress depends in part on how fast hospitals anticipate meeting their goals, according to Mr. Trimarchi. A short-term goal will require more frequent tracking and evaluation of measures, such as monthly, whereas long-term goals can be reviewed quarterly. Regardless of the frequency of review the question that should be answered is ‘Are we making progress or do we need to change the strategies?’ Mr. Trimarchi says.

Adhering to these five basic practices can help hospitals develop a strategic plan that is focused, effective and flexible. By leveraging measures to continually evaluate progress towards the goals the strategic plan becomes a living document that can guide an institution through uncertain times.

To view the article in it’s entirety, click here .

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5 Strategic Planning Best Practices in Hospital Management

example of strategic plan for hospital

Managing a hospital is challenging work, and crafting an effective strategic plan for one is even more formidable in our uncertain economic and political climate.  Since the ACA passed in 2010, healthcare access has expanded , hospitals have grown more complex and specialized in their internal departments, more medical providers have transitioned into hospitals, and insurance companies have more leverage than ever to negotiate prices with the larger pool of insured persons.

In healthcare, we pledge first to “do no harm,” so don’t risk harm to your organization by conducting a hospital management strategy burdened with uncertainty, miscommunication, and an amorphous vision.  Here are 5 best practices for strategic planning in hospital management:

1. Let the Process Lead

A strategic plan should manage your resources efficiently by funneling them smoothly from big ideas to daily actions. There is a natural flow to strategic plan anatomy:

Mission, vision, and values rarely change—they are constant and foundational touchstones for the overall direction of your hospital.

Objectives are set (and reviewed/revised from time to time) to move you closer to the broad aspirations of your vision statement in smaller, more realistic 3-5 year targets.  

Strategies are established next, to pursue the goals you’ve set through concretely actionable projects and initiatives.  

Measures must finally be selected to track progress toward your objectives and identify whether the strategies you’ve implemented are having their intended impact or need to be changed.  

Adhering to this hierarchical cascade helps your hospital avoid drifting away from its vision and mission, but leaves you agile enough to adapt and change strategies in an uncertain future.  

2. Plan in the Open  

Include your entire staff in the development and implementation of action plans to give them a sense of ownership and keep them engaged in the big picture.  

Too many hospitals make the mistake of keeping strategy at the top level, but when you communicate goals and rationale clearly with the people who actually have to carry out the strategic plan, you’ll improve that plan’s efficiency and overall chance of success.

healthcare balanced scorecard strategy map templates

3. Set Realistic Goals 

If you hope to achieve real improvements in your hospital, then you need to avoid goals with outlandish financial requirements and grandiose transformations. Impractical goals will stifle your organization’s progress, but attainable ones can inspire you by producing measurable results that will fuel future progress and more advanced goals.

You’ll know if your goals are actually feasible if you’re able to develop finite, viable, and realistic strategies and projects that can facilitate the successful deployment of those goals.

4. Narrow Your Focus

Setting too many disparate goals can dilute your resources, confuse your management team, and fragment your efforts into ineffective half-measures.  

Keep it simple, stick to the top five or six changes you want to see, and then reallocate time and effort as the needs of each goal progress and evolve.  Done effectively, this will allow you to snowball your resources as some of the targets are reached and others receive increased focus. Less is truly more when setting goals.

5. Don’t Drown Yourself In Numbers

Too many statistics and performance metrics can needlessly confuse your management team and create conflicts in your assessment of goals and strategies.  Stick to relatively few, high-impact, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) KPIs that are each linked directly to a goal of your organization. This means making sure that the objective measures you track have obvious links to the results you want to realize in the hospital.  

Well-designed measures can help you decide whether your strategies are producing the results you need or if your approach needs to change.  Most strategic planning goals only need one or two KPIs to accurately measure progress towards objectives. Frequency of assessment can also vary by KPI.  For example, short-term goals tend to require more frequent tracking (perhaps monthly), whereas long-term goals might be reviewed less often (quarterly).

With these guiding principles and other best practices in hospital management , strategic planning in healthcare can be both straightforward and impactful.  A vigilant, proactive approach to improving your hospital’s strategic planning process can head off potential pitfalls in your objectives and execution before they arise.

Topics: Healthcare Strategic Planning

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Aiming High Strategic Plan 2021-2025

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo

example of strategic plan for hospital

The Drive to be World Class for our Community

Message from our board chair and president & ceo.

In the words of artist and innovator Michelangelo, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” This is a reminder that we have kept top of mind in charting this exciting path for the future. We committed to aim high and to support our communities in their aspirations and dreams for the future.

In developing this plan, we have been inspired by the communities we serve and the collective aspiration of being world class. We are dedicated to being part of that collective vision. When we looked to the end of the next decade, we looked beyond our own organization and our own self interest. We looked to the future with a broader lens of what we see in our community and that is a world class health system supporting healthier lives. We are dedicated to seeing that vision realized and this plan begins our journey along that path and our contribution to the success of the communities we serve.

We have set out what success looks like a decade from now and five-year milestones letting us know that we are on the right path. We have identified three key strategic directions with four goals each to achieve the results we are aspiring to. Although we have a clear plan for where we are going and how we will get there, we also know that our environment changes in small and in major ways - this last year is a great example of the impact of major unexpected change. We will be continuously testing our plan to make sure it is right for the environment we find ourselves in and when needed, make adjustments.

Our plan has been informed by thousands of voices – patients, families, our hospital team members, partners and community leaders. It has also benefited from the significant experiences and changes of the last couple of years including the community and organizational response to Covid-19, the launch of a new hospital information system with our partners at St. Mary’s General Hospital, and the changing delivery of health care through Ontario Health Teams. We have also paid close attention to our history and are building on our strengths and the successes of the past as we look to the future.

This past year has reinforced many things, most importantly the strength, compassion and dedication of our team, the power and strength of our partners, that life is precious, and that our reason for being is the people we serve and the people who deliver that service. Our response to Covid-19 has also shown us just how much we can accomplish together and has inspired us in shaping what’s possible in the years to come.

In addition to our new vision, we have built on our mission statement and identified four key organizational values that will serve as our foundation for the future. We have been inspired and driven by the feedback we have received from hospital team members, partners and patients to our plan for the future and the positive impact it will have on people’s lives. We have no doubt that together, through our belief in each other and our community, our commitment to continuously raising the bar, and our resolve to savour and celebrate our successes along the way; we will collectively realize our dream of world class.

We will aim high.

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Vision, Mission & Values

A world class health system supporting healthier lives.

Deliver an exceptional health care experience with compassion. Driven by inspired people, an unwavering quality focus, strong partnerships and innovative solutions.

  • We are engaged, invested and here for one another
  • We bring our best every day to deliver high quality safe care
  • We take ownership for our own safety and the safety of others
  • We see the person and treat everyone with empathy and compassion
  • What we do and how we do it matters to us
  • We enjoy what we do
  • We act like “owners”
  • We keep our word and believe others will too
  • We believe that we accomplish more through partnerships and collaboration
  • We take a system first approach to improvement
  • Coaching is delivered and received as support
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  • We have the courage to innovate and continuously raise the bar
  • We find a way
  • We dream big and are tenacious about making them a reality
  • We inspire curiosity, inquiry and discovery
  • We never stop learning and teaching
  • We are willing to lead and to have others lead
  • We take ownership
  • We value our individual differences and our common grounds
  • We value all perspectives and integrate them into everything we do
  • We welcome and respect the diversity of our patients, team members and partners
  • We are committed to equitable treatment and elimination of discrimination in all its forms

Grand River Hospital is the largest health service provider in Waterloo Region and Guelph-Wellington and provides regional care services. We are proud to be a community teaching hospital and a preferred destination for learners from many disciplines. In 2020, 750 student learners joined the GRH team, for 60+ professional disciplines.

We have two campuses with three satellite locations and have an annual budget of $400M.

Our Community

Waterloo Region includes the three cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the four townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich. With a population of more than 630,000 people, Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario.

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“A health system that is among the best in the world in terms of experience for the people we serve and our teams, health outcomes and sustainability as a system.” What Being World Class Means to Us

Measures of Success

  • Our board, leadership and team make up better reflects the community we serve
  • We will rank in the top decile in Ontario for patient/family and team experience
  • We will rank in the top decile in Canada for selected/key patient quality and safety results
  • Our new acute care infrastructure plan is ready to go to market
  • Maximize government funding to support high quality care and services close to home. Increase non-ministry revenue by $20 million/year and achieve a bottom line equal to 2% of total revenue to support strategic investments
  • Innovation collaborative is in place with local medtech, education and healthcare organizations, and GRH will be recognized as a leader in care innovation locally and nationally
  • KW4 OHT is fully operational (integrated funding enveloped and integrated outcome accountabilities)
  • The 3 RoW hospitals will be functioning as one system (does not require formal integration)
  • Will have established or strengthened Regional Centres of Excellence and have approval for a neurosurgery program
  • Our Health Information System (HIS) is fully optimized and used beyond our walls
  • GRH will have advanced the maturity of its practices to be a recognized leader as an insight driven organization
  • Globally recognized brand for health care excellence, attracting top talent from around the world
  • One integrated health system for the community
  • Patient and family driven culture - they are part of everything we do
  • State of the art infrastructure, technology, and therapies
  • Community driven innovation collaborative is recognized as a leader in health care delivery innovation
  • Care is primarily delivered outside of our traditional hospital walls
  • An insight driven organization
  • Significantly grow our revenue from all sources in order to support investments in our world class vision

Strategic Directions


We value people above all else and our aim is to make a positive difference in their lives every day.  We will put the experience of our patients & their families, our team members (Physicians, staff, learners and volunteers) and our partners at the very top of our agenda.

Key Strategic Goals which will enable success

  • Continue to support our teams to be world class
  • Advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the organization by creating structures and launching programs for long-term, sustainable change.
  • Maximize government funding to support high quality care and services close to home.  Invest in world class by increasing non-ministry revenue and operating efficiency through innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

We will be an engaged partner working with our partners, patients and their families to co-develop a truly world class system to advance the health and health outcomes of people in our community.

  • Play a leadership role in working with our partners to make the Ontario Health Team (OHT) vision a reality.
  • Implement solutions to ensure the physical infrastructure needs of high quality, safe care are met today and tomorrow.
  • Champion the delivery of integrated hospital services in our region. Where appropriate, strengthen or establish GRH as a regional centre of excellence in select program, service and support areas.
  • Implement systems and innovative tools to identify, share, and continuously embed world class practices into our operations.

We will leverage the collective talents and strengths of GRH, our community, and our partners to innovate and accelerate the transformation of health care delivery.

  • Build a culture of innovation and research that encourages a spirit of curiosity, discovery, and improvement.
  • Build innovation capacity.
  • Position GRH as a preferred destination for learners in order to prepare for, and inform, future health care delivery.
  • Become an insight driven organization.

example of strategic plan for hospital

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Examples of Strategic Planning in Healthcare

Future-focused healthcare leaders maintain robust strategic planning processes to ensure a strong mission, goals, and roadmap for their organizations. 

Strategic planning provides an avenue for hospitals, health systems, physician practices, and other healthcare organizations to chart a course to achieving long-term sustainability and success in a dynamic healthcare environment. Leaders can leverage the process to identify and tackle a broad range of challenges, from internal staffing issues to emerging competitors or shifting patient preferences.  

Examples of the benefits of strategic planning in healthcare include building alignment across the organization, mitigating risks, optimizing efficiencies, enhancing patient satisfaction, and improving care quality and outcomes. 

examples of strategic planning in healthcare elements chart

Elements of strategic planning 

Key elements of strategic planning in healthcare include: 

Mission and vision

A hospital mission statement defines an organization’s primary identity and purpose within the communities it serves, while the vision statement provides its view for the future. Having a clear mission and vision help ensure stakeholders are aligned and focused on common goals. 

SWOT analysis

Healthcare leaders use a SWOT analysis to identify an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and threats. For example, a strength may be the organization’s brand name and standing within the community, and a weakness may be an overwhelming focus on inpatient services. Expanding outpatient care services is an example of an opportunity, while a threat may be competition from retail healthcare providers who offer more convenient care options. 

The comprehensive SWOT analysis of both internal operations and external factors is a crucial part of the healthcare strategic planning process in defining the entity’s current state and future opportunities. 

Goals and objectives

Healthcare leaders use insights gained from the SWOT analysis to define the organization’s goals and objectives. Using scenario modeling allows them to test various strategies or combinations of strategies to identify realistic, effective, and measurable objectives. 

Stakeholder engagement

Another vital element in ensuring realistic and actionable goals is engaging stakeholders organization-wide in the healthcare strategic planning process. Gathering broad input from individuals at various levels builds buy-in and helps them feel more invested and motivated in helping to achieve the overall goals and objectives. 

Examples of strategic planning in healthcare 

Healthcare leaders can incorporate a wide range of initiatives as part of the strategic planning process, depending on the needs and goals of the organization. Three examples of such initiatives include: 

Hospital expansion

A regional hospital sought to expand services in a growing community on the edge of its service area. To evaluate the opportunity for its strategic plan, health system leaders analyzed market data, including existing healthcare services, potential competitors, referral trends, population growth, and demographic trends.  

The analyses revealed a dearth of healthcare options in the target community. Rapid population growth had outpaced the addition of new businesses and services as the area transitioned from rural to suburban. The need for emergency care was the most pressing, as residents had to drive more than 30 minutes to the closest hospital emergency department. 

Using local market data to bolster its case, the health system successfully won a competitive application process to gain state approval to build a free-standing emergency department in the community. The new facility allowed the health system to extend much-needed services to the area and establish a foundation from which to expand with additional services in the future. 

Improving patient safety

As another example of strategic planning in hospitals, leaders at a community hospital identified a need to improve patient safety at a skilled nursing facility (SNF) the hospital had recently acquired. The SNF once had an excellent reputation, but care quality had suffered in recent years due to long-running labor shortages. Hospital leaders did a thorough review of the SNF’s operations, including scheduling, staffing levels, patient flow, safety practices, and patient care and outcomes. 

The review revealed two primary deficiencies. First, the SNF was not adequately adjusting staffing levels to correspond with changes in patient demand. Second, patient safety protocols were not consistently followed, having fallen off over time due to inadequate staffing. 

To address these challenges, the hospital worked with executives and clinical nurse leaders at the SNF to revise scheduling practices to better flex staff levels with patient demand, including using modeling tools to project changes in patient demand. They also boosted recruitment efforts, including partnering with a nearby nursing school to offer incentives for students to work at the SNF after graduation. 

Leaders updated patient safety protocols to align with current, proven best practices and established safety officers to lead implementation and build accountability across the facility. With these changes, the hospital succeeded in significantly improving patient safety at the SNF, including reducing patient falls, bedsores, and other adverse events. 

Health system integration

Leaders at two mid-sized health systems wanted to ensure a smooth transition as the entities integrated their operations and services. The organizations were merging as part of a broader strategic plan to strengthen overall healthcare services within their communities and their combined financial health amid a turbulent economy.  

In developing an integration plan, leaders brought in a third-party consultant to evaluate factors such as services, operations, leadership structures, market demand, payer contracts, and organizational cultures at each health system. Armed with those insights, the organizations identified numerous opportunities — including duplicative services that could be combined for greater economies of scale, service line gaps that could be addressed by shifting resources from closing facilities to new areas, and a need to renegotiate payer contracts to make them more favorable for the larger, combined organization. 

As with many mergers, leaders faced reluctance from some long-term clinical leaders and staff who were concerned about integrating with a previous competitor. Leaders developed a robust communication plan to address these concerns with staff and other community stakeholders and raise awareness about the business case for the merger. They also built buy-in by seeking input from individuals at various levels across both organizations, and identified common cultural priorities that could be leveraged in developing a unified identity.  

Through these efforts, health system leaders developed a comprehensive strategic plan for integration, including new mission, vision, and values statements for the combined entity, and a leadership structure that drew legacy leaders from both health systems to emphasize it as a merger of equals. 


As these examples of strategic planning in healthcare organizations illustrate, leaders routinely encounter a variety of challenges as markets continually shift and patient preferences evolve. The strategic planning process provides a rigorous process for organizations to assess these challenges, identify opportunities, and develop thoughtful, data-driven strategies to move their organizations forward toward long-term success.  

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  1. 10+ Hospital Strategic Plan Template & Samples

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  2. 10+ Hospital Strategic Plan Template & Samples

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  5. 10+ Hospital Strategic Plan Template & Samples

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