Dissertation: Strategic IT Planning and Strategy
Abstract: Act before problems reach the level of crisis. Strategic planning provides the structure for making day-to-day decisions following a more comprehensive vision, guiding your practice, and maximizing the environmental influences.
Problem Statement: Perhaps the most crucial reason for a group to participate in strategic planning is the speed at which factors change the environment. “Physicians who try to continue to do as they have in the past five years will be disadvantaged,” says Dawn Holcombe, MBA, Chairman of the South Windsor, Connecticut DGH Consulting. “The world is changing, and things they may not even know about may affect their practice.”
In addition to the plan it produces, participating in the strategic planning process provides benefits. First, having everyone in the same room fosters collegiality and creates a setting to focus away from patient care and other obligations on the business path. The approach also encourages an open and creative exchange of ideas, including the presentation of differences and the preparation of practical solutions (Hill, D., Walker, J., & Hale, J. 2015).
Short- and Long-Term Planning: Establishing guidelines for the practice and setting overall goals provide the basis for short to long-term strategic planning. A long-term strategy will probably not cover more than the next three years in today’s healthcare business. Following the strategic course at the initial planning session, the group should meet at least annually. During these sessions, the partners should review the practice objectives, update new data on the environmental assessment, and identify plans to resolve difficulties in the next 12 months. For example, as one or more partners approach withdrawal, an inheritance plan may have to be prepared. In the meanwhile, the expansion of inpatient volume may require both physician and mid-level recruitment tactics.
Mission and Values, the starting point: Developing a mission statement – a description of its fundamental purpose — is the first stage in strategic planning and the basis for the entire process. Users may assume that creating the mission is a bureaucratic waste of time, yet it is a formative experience to determine its mission. The approach sets the scene for other priority settings and forces shareholders to reflect on and express the practice’s goals. Does the overall mission provide high-quality care for patients with cancer? What about research? Does the course have an educational mission to benefit the community? Answering questions like this explains the group’s primary mission.
Vision: Where are we going?
The following phase for the group is to determine whatever type of practice the user wants in the future, as mission and values are determined. Yogi Berra’s comments again apply: “If you don’t know where you’re going, somewhere else you are going to come up.” A vision statement – whether a few lines or a lengthier document – provides the intended picture of the practice’s future condition. Would we like to be acknowledged for treating a specific type of cancer? Is our vision the leader in your clinical research? Would we want to expand and establish a network of practice sites? The group’s vision must fit your practice environment. Therefore, we may discover that our examination of internal and external facts covered in the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis will cause us to revisit our views somewhat while strategically continuing to plan.
SWOT Analysis: The SWOT analysis—an evaluation of our practice’s strengths, weaknesses, possibilities, and menaces—is a fundamental element of strategic planning. This study includes quantitative and qualitative information, most of which must collect and analyzed before the planning meeting. The methodology for organizing and conducting a SWOT analysis varies considerably, and no single perfect method is available. The group’s size, the frequency of the strategic planning sessions, and the rapid changes nationally and locally affect the process (J, Oncol, Pract. 2009).
Internal evaluation: Data such as the costs of pharmaceuticals per full-time equivalent physician and financial reporting participate in identifying inner strengths and shortcomings. The practice’s quality and efficiency should measure against statistics on other cancer practices (Sources for Benchmarking Data provides references for locating this information) (J, Oncol, Pract. 2009).
External evaluation: opportunities and threats: Empirical market data such as population, economic developments, reference patterns, and competition should assess whether they provide dangers or opportunities. The wider environment, including the regional health system and changes in reimbursement and regulation, should be evaluated, in addition to the local picture. Even if physicians and personnel in some groups remain aware of local, regional, and national developments, an oncological market forces consultant is often necessary for environmental analysis.
Development of strategies: Once a comprehensive image builds of the practice and its surroundings, the group should identify strategic choices to move the course from its current situation to the desired future position. Be cautious about the hazards of talking about operational concerns and trying to decide tactics rather than strategies. For example, implementing the electronic medical record system may be a strategic decision. Still, the strategic planning meeting is not the place to discuss available methods, preferred fields, or necessary training. It is the responsibility of employees assigned to the action plan to manage such specifics (J, Oncol, Pract. 2009).
Plan of Action: Establishing strategies should prioritize a few (i.e., two or five) feasible strategies and develop related action plans. Much strategic planning has failed or failed because it was overly ambitious or too tricky. Don’t try to use any opportunity or fix any limitations revealed in your SWOT analysis. Some objectives may be essential, but they can implement within one year or two. Those objectives remain insightful and can be successfully handled through an annual strategic planning meeting to refresh our plan.
Hill, D., Walker, J., & Hale, J. (2015). Privacy considerations for health information exchanges. Medical Data Privacy Handbook, 289-311.https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23633-9_12
J, Oncol, Pract. (2009). Strategic planning: Why it makes a difference and how to do it. (2009). Journal of Oncology Practice, 5(3), 139-143. https://doi.org/10.1200/jop.0936501. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790676/
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We looked at several topics on global IT strategies, technologies, models, and networking during this session. As you get closer to starting your own dissertation, you will need to choose a topic in your first dissertation class, DSRT-736, so it is essential to start preparing.
This week, let us take a look at some topics to consider, and by the end of the week, we could have several ideas for dissertation topics. Since you have already examined several research articles, another way would be to examine previous dissertations in these areas. Visit the University of Cumberland’s library, go to the Dissertation Database, and locate an interesting topic on global IT. Here are some pointers that will help critically evaluate some viable topics.
- Is the topic attainable for a first-time dissertation student?
- Is the problem rooted in the literature?
- Is the research empirical, i.e., is there a survey, is there an interview guide, and has the data been analyzed via some statistical tool?
- Is there a theoretical model or framework discussed?
Discuss the topic, the problem the model has been used in the research, and any present findings. Do not read the entire dissertation, as the abstract and chapter one introduction should give a clear understanding of the research.
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