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Class mate 1:

After taking this course I realized how much the healthcare field is always changing and progressing at a rate unlike any other. Over the past few decades it has become more and more important to plan for the future in order for any healthcare practice to be successful for years to come. By planning for the unknown, hospitals, clinics, private practices and other organizations in the healthcare field can be better equipped for whatever may come along down the road.

Strategic health planning involves creating objectives and setting goals for where a company would like to go in the future, and then constructing a plan to achieve these objectives. In this industry especially, healthcare planning must take into account potential government policy changes, technological advancements and economic trends that could change an organization’s operations in a significant way.

The importance of strategic planning in healthcare should not go unnoticed by any hospital or health system looking to succeed not only in the short run, but long term as well. One key factor that should be the basis to strategic planning in healthcare organizations is the organization of the institution. Understanding the organization of the institution and how this organization is necessary for the entire system to succeed is important in creating an effective plan with specific strategies.

This course helped me to understand that the benefits of strategic planning in healthcare are numerous mainly because healthcare planning is composed of many components. Like most businesses, hospitals and healthcare institutions are operating at many levels. From patient care to financing, health systems need to plan for the future in more ways than one.Unlike traditional plans, strategic planning takes into account what is to come for every sector of the organization, taking into account foreseeable changes for all departments.

Classmate 2:

How does healthcare strategic planning change with time and technological development?

Evans (2006) in his article addressing technology and different communication strategies that affect healthcare organizations identifies that technology has caused a great improve in communication, social marketing and other concepts that vastly impact the way strategic planning is done. As technology continues to evolve and continue to interweave itself into the healthcare sector, there will still be a digital divide said Evans. Therefore, healthcare managers will need to consider this in planning to ensure no one included in their organization population is left out (Evans, 2006). From a professional perspective, security, patient process and treatment quality will forever be top concerns and as technology evolves and is integrated more and more in healthcare daily operation, these factors need to be considered all around. To do so, integration must start from the organization level, to include the vision and mission of the organization where healthcare managers can integrate these factors into their strategic planning steps.

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