Crafting Your Organization’s Strategic Plan For A Successful Year
The healthcare and health information management industry is no stranger to constant changes and evolutions. To successfully navigate the future – and be prepared for anything – healthcare organizations need to craft a strategic plan. But what does strategic planning entail? “Strategic planning is the process of documenting and establishing a direction of your company – by assessing where you are and where you’re going” (The Hartford/Small Biz Ahead, 2018).
A strategic plan is beneficial for everyone: It allows the company owner to identify which goals will help grow the organization, and it helps the employees foster that growth by accomplishing the necessary objectives and increasing productivity. By including your employees in the planning process, you create a sense of ownership and accountability for the plan to succeed. Bottom line: Everyone is on the same page about the company’s direction and goals.
The strategic planning process should include:
- Company Goals, Values, and Mission: Setting your company goals, values, and mission provides the framework of a strategic plan, and may be the most important step of the process. To successfully execute your strategic plan, you need to set performance benchmarks, and identify the initiatives to achieve that growth. For an example, review AHIMA’s strategic objectives they planned for 2018-2022.
- Establishing Partnerships and Securing Clients: Without partners and clients, your organization would not be a success. It is paramount to dedicate a portion of your strategic plan to making new connections that will help your business grow. Identify all stakeholders in your industry, and develop a proposal that demonstrates your value and how your companies could work together for a profitable future for both parties.
- Creating a Budget: Your organization likely does not have unlimited financial resources, so it is crucial to set monetary boundaries that allow you to achieve your goals and meet all objectives without breaking the bank. Your company partnerships may help increase your budget, giving you flexibility on how you meet your goals.
- Continuing Education for Coders and Auditors: There is a plethora of organizations that are in constant need of skilled, qualified medical coders and auditors. Build time into your plan for continuing education to ensure your team maintains the knowledge they need to make your organization successful. In addition, by encouraging ongoing education, you will increase your coder and auditor retention, as well as your return on investment.
- Communication and Brand Guidelines: According to the Journal of AHIMA, one of the 10 best practices of strategic planning is communication. “Develop coherent strategic plan messaging using tools such as blogs and social media, newsletters, brown-bag [informal] meetings, conference presentations, collaborative tools, and FAQs. Execute outreach relentlessly” (Journal of AHIMA, 2013). Use trade shows to get your organization’s name in front of the companies with which you want to do business. Establish your brand guidelines, and adhere to them in all internal and external communications.
Most importantly, remain flexible and ready to adapt your plan to fit your current situation as needed.