An Introduction to Healthcare Strategic Planning and Management

Due to the growing awareness about healthcare services amongst the masses, healthcare organizations all over the world are therefore under tremendous pressure to improve their patient’s services. Moreover, with the increase in the healthcare organization’s size and complexity, as also with the changing socio-economic conditions, the organizational relationship within the healthcare organization has also undergone a change. Thus greater attention will be needed towards healthcare managers in present days and in the future which is full of challenges because of the increasing competition from internal as well as external sources.

Healthcare management is a complex task. It involves planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. All these functions are required to achieve the goals and objectives of the healthcare organization, and to perform these functions efficiently healthcare organizations must be organized and managed in a scientific manner, this demands that every staff member should be adequately trained.

Well trained and dynamic Healthcare managers, whether they are managing health systems, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, group practices, or other healthcare organizations are considered as an investment to meet the goals and objectives rather than an overhead cost.


The Healthcare Industry: A Managerial Model

Healthcare Organizations can generally be classified into three basic groups, depending on their financial sponsorship:

  • For-profit
  • Nonprofit
  • Governmental

This classification result in a significant number of anatomical and physiological differences that to a great extent affect the organization’s management processes.

The Profit Sector

The for profit sector encompasses a wide range of organizations. At one end of the spectrum, at least in terms of staff and revenues, are the independent practices of physicians, dentists, optometrists, and other providers’ such as independent pharmacies.

The Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit does not literally mean that the organization should not make a profit but, rather, that any surplus of revenue over expenses should not injure or be on to any group of stockholders or owners. Rather, all profit should be reinvested in the organization for its growth and development.


The federal government, state government, and even local governments own and operate a staggering array of facilities and programs.

Managerial Matrix

Across the horizontal axis of the managerial matrix are the three mentioned classifications: for-profit, nonprofit, and government. The vertical axis lists a range of managerial functions that relate to a manger’s ability to organize and direct a healthcare organization.

Organizational Functions:

  • Delivery of Service

The first question considered in this matrix is that of primary function: what is it that the organization is supposed to do? One function is the delivery of services to individuals, which clearly can and does occur in all three organizational forms.

  • Planning

It is clearly, government, because of its power of licensure and control over vast sums of money, has the greatest potential leverage in planning health services. Also private healthcare firms do enter the world of planning, but usually as consultants to voluntary and government agencies that have the responsibility and authority for planning.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation

This function is typically a governmental responsibility that may be handled directly by government or delegated to a nongovernmental organization.

  • Regulation

Government has maintained essential control on regulation; it could even be argued that this control can never be totally delegated or transferred.

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