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Desert Hospital has just emerged from a difficult multi-year stretch in which the fiscal outlook was dire enough that the hospital nearly closed. About six months ago, the hospital’s board of trustees brought in an interim CEO who secured a bridge loan to stave off liquidation and implemented temporary systems to stabilize the organization. However, the modest profitability achieved since the transition is both fragile and insufficient to fund the hospital’s ongoing capital requirements. Management will have to convert momentum from the recent turnaround into a strategic asset going forward.

The hospital is now faced with having to compete effectively by determining its distinctive competencies and capabilities necessary for sustainable success. To that end, leadership decided it was necessary to take a “time-out” in order to hold a strategic planning retreat. During the retreat, the participants first conducted a situational assessment (i.e., Phase One) that considered what the hospital should do based on its external environment and its internal capabilities. Specifically, the following evaluative tools were used: resource analysis, stakeholders analysis, and competitor analysis. Next, they engaged in strategy formulation (i.e., Phase Two) that answered important questions about what the hospital will start doing, stop doing, and continue doing. The hospital’s mission and vision statements were refined during this phase. A variety of community stakeholders, expert consultants, and hospital representatives were involved in considering these factors and ultimately moving from analysis of alternatives to synthesis of a focused strategic direction. The participants applied two different decision-making tools to decide amongst the alternative strategies: a payoff matrix and a force field analysis.

They found compelling common ground in their shared commitment to helping Desert Hospital thrive, not just survive, as an independent community hospital dedicated to serving the needs of its local community. Their resulting strategic plan includes the following considerations:

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  • A contemporary mission statement: “To provide competent, caring, and accessible emergency and acute care services for the residents of our local community. We are ordinary people operating an extraordinary community hospital.”
  • A contemporary vision statement: “In its second century of service, Desert Hospital will set the pace for sophisticated care in Desert County. Getting better means all of us will be responsible for taking great care of our patients, each other, and our hospital.”
  • The following competitive advantages were identified:
    1. High quality, engaged physicians
    2. Centrally accessible location with zoning regulations that preclude the entry of new hospital competitors
    3. Valued clinical programs due to staff skills and expertise
  • It was decided that the hospital would remain independent at this time, despite significant interest from both Oasis Associates, P.C., an investor-led surgical group, and Cactus Health System, the regional organization that includes Cactus University School of Medicine.
  • A primary strategic goal that was identified during the retreat is to recruit a new, permanent CEO who can work with all hospital stakeholders to execute the mission, vision, and other strategic goals of Desert Hospital. A board-level search committee has been formed that will include representation from medical staff and administrative leadership. A position description and specifications will be written, a search firm will be engaged, candidates will be screened and interviewed, and a final selection will be made.

Case

You are the chief operating officer (COO) for Desert Hospital. The board has tasked you with communicating the key results of its strategic planning retreat to the wider organization. Your ultimate aim in this informational campaign is to garner popular support for the new strategic plan. Specifically, you need to craft an effective presentation that outlines the rationale and major implications of the strategic plan in a way that is persuasive and compelling for your audience of healthcare professionals and other hospital staff.

  1. Establish a context for your presentation by first explaining the purpose and nature of strategic planning.
    1. Describe what strategic planning in healthcare organizations entails. How is it different from project planning or budgeting?
    2. Justify the need for strategic planning in terms of its relevance to organizational effectiveness. In other words, why bother to have a strategic plan? How does strategic planning make a practical difference for a healthcare organization’s viability and success over time?
    3. Be transparent with your audience about the limitations of strategic planning. Highlight the differences between “having a plan” and “effective execution.” In other words, why is it critical for staff to “buy in” to the new strategic plan?
  2. Describe the process taken to develop the strategic plan for your audience. Be sure to explain the two phases of work and the associated evaluative and decision-making tools that were used, including their purpose and effectiveness for engaging in strategic planning. In other words, try to convince your audience that the approach taken was thorough and informed by best practices.
  3. Illustrate the most important elements of the new strategic plan, and underscore their significance for your audience.
    1. Demonstrate the purpose of mission and vision statements for informing and aligning strategic goals.
      1. Share the contemporary mission and vision statements developed during the retreat. Be sure to explain to your audience the purpose and significance of this information. In other words, why is it important to have a clear mission and vision when engaging in strategic planning? How should each inform the strategic goals of the hospital moving forward?
      2. Share the plan for recruiting a new CEO. Justify the alignment of this goal to the new mission and vision statements, and encourage your audience to actively engage in the hiring process to attract a great leader.
      3. Explain the implications of the board’s decision to remain independent at this time. What are the advantages and disadvantages to joining an integrated regional healthcare delivery system by joining Oasis Associates or Cactus Health Systems? How did the mission and vision of the hospital guide the ultimate decision?
    2. Share the competitive advantages identified during the retreat. Be sure to explain to your audience the purpose and significance of this information. In other words, why is identifying sources of competitive advantage important for ensuring the long-term viability of the hospital?
  4. Throughout your presentation, be sure to employ motivational strategies to garner buy-in for the new strategic plan. For example, you should end your presentation with a compelling “call to action,” and suggest follow-up opportunities for your audience to learn more and get involved in the next steps.

Assignment

Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:

Strategic Plan Presentation
Craft an effective presentation that outlines the rationale and major implications of the strategic planning retreat in a way that is persuasive and compelling for your audience of healthcare professionals and other hospital staff. Your presentation must be 6 to 10 slides in length, include speaker notes, and cite any references.

Rubric Below

Reading: 7 Essential Tips for Persuasive Presentations
This article from Medicalwriters.com details “handy tips to make your next presentation memorable.”

Reading: A Checklist for More Persuasive Presentations
This list forces the presenter to take a step back and think like the audience about key items that presenters often forget. It reminds the presenter about what content and context is important to the audience.

Video: How to Organize a Persuasive Speech or Presentation (7:37)
This video clearly and simply distinguishes between typical informational presentations and persuasive or motivational presentations.

Rubric