Forming a strategic plan may seem like a waste of time, but it can be beneficial to a practice.
Do you have a strategic plan for your practice? If the answer is “no”, you are in good company? I find that many physician practices shy away from strategic planning for a variety of reasons:
Despite these reasons, there are many compelling reasons to engage in the strategic planning process and a method that is easy to use, yet results in a user-friendly, implementable plan that aligns the entire office around an engaging vision. Consider this: if you were planning to build a home, would you begin the project without a sense of what you want it to look like, what will be involved in making your home a reality, and specific plans for how and when aspects of the project will be completed?
A strategic planning process may seem unfamiliar because it is time you spend ON your business, rather than IN your business. It is not about patient care or healthcare activities. It is focused on the health of your medical practice by putting in place a set of strategies and action plans that ensure its future sustainability. Before diving into the specifics, here are some reasons why you might take the time and effort to develop a strategic plan:
So, what does it take to develop a simple (but not simplistic) strategic plan? Below I provide a set of questions that allow for reflection on the current and future direction of your practice. The process of developing a strategic plan is meant to be done with others – physician partners and/or key staff (such as the office manager). If your practice is small, I recommend including all the staff in the process. Here are the six sections of your strategic plan with questions to address for each one.
Are you ready to develop your own strategic plan? A facilitator can be helpful to the process, but you now have all the necessary elements to develop your plan. Have fun with it!