Internal and External Assessments for Strategic Planning The three case studies included in this week's Learning Resources demonstrate some of the dilemmas of strategic planning encountered in different settings. For any health care organization,

Internal and External Assessments for Strategic Planning

The three case studies included in this week’s Learning Resources demonstrate some of the dilemmas of strategic planning encountered in different settings. For any health care organization, internal and external assessments are an important part of the strategic planning process.

Prepare for this Discussion as follows:

  • Review the information presented in the various Learning Resources regarding how organizations conduct internal and external assessments for strategic planning.
  • Select one of the following case studies to focus on for this Discussion.
    • “What Would You Do? Affiliate, Merge, or Stay Independent?”
    • “What Would You Do? Is It Too Late to Develop a Comprehensive Community Hospital Cardiovascular Program?”
    • “What Would You Do? Are Freestanding Emergency Centers an Idea Whose Time Has Come?”
  • As you review your selected case study, consider the following:
    • What are the important steps to take while conducting internal and external assessments? What information in the case study is relevant for the assessments this organization would likely conduct?
    • What steps would you recommend to gather additional, pertinent data (not included in the case study) as part of the assessment phase? Why would this data be important? How might it influence strategic planning?
    • Identify one internal or external factor described in the case and consider how the assessments might differ if it changed. For instance, how might this scenario be different if the organization were actually located in your community? You may also other consider influences, such as current health care reform, and their effects on the assessments.

Post by Day 4 a response to the following:

  • Identify the case study you have selected in the first line of the posting.
  • Summarize the information in the case that is relevant to internal and external assessments, including the important steps the organization would most likely need to take.
  • Describe the actions you would recommend for gathering additional data; explain why this data might be valuable.
  • Hypothesize how internal and/or external assessments might differ with a change to one or more elements of this case.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings—for a case that is different from the one you posted on—in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Expand on the colleague’s posting with additional insight and resources.
  • Offer polite disagreement or critique, supported with evidence.

In addition to, but not in place of the above, you may:

  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion or comment that guides or facilitates the Discussion.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made. No posting is required.