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by Vivecca Frank8 Min.

Why a Healthcare Business Strategy Is Important for Your Medical Organisation – and Why It Often Fails

Whatever the size or services of your facility, developing a successful healthcare business strategy is not easy. In this blog post, we explain what makes strategic planning as a part of clinic management so difficult, but it is still worthwhile. We also go over how you can assess the effectiveness of your current strategic planning.

Tips on Healthcare Business Ideas
Tips on Healthcare Business Ideas

What Is a Healthcare Business Strategy?

A medical practice business plan entails setting long-term goals. An action plan is then drawn up with the most important projects to achieve these goals.

Important: this strategic orientation should be maintained over a period of three to five years. The aim of strategic planning is to proactively build a future-proof organisation following your set healthcare business plan.

Business Strategy: Challenges for Private and Public Healthcare Organisations

Before we go into detail, we should first talk about the major differences between private and public medical organisations in terms of strategically planning healthcare business solutions. These differences have a major impact on the reasons for strategy failure.

Private facilities must balance costs and healthcare revenue whilst making a positive patient experience integral to their clinic management. This includes first-class medical care, easy accessibility and a digitalised patient journey. If they fail to do this, they will quickly lose patients to competition. Incidentally, this is now happening more frequently: according to recent studies, 36% of all patients have changed their healthcare provider in the last two years. Eight out of 10 stated that their decision was due to a poor patient experience.

The infrastructure of a public healthcare facility, such as a university hospital, has to deal with other issues; particularly funding gaps and political overregulation. The shortage of skilled labour and outdated administrative processes in many facilities make long-term success difficult.

The Advantages of Having a Healthcare Business Strategy

Having a strategic healthcare business plan brings various benefits to your organisation:: 

Benefit #1: Increased Profitability

Improve your facility’s healthcare revenue and achieve long-term sustainability. This means:

  • Sensible utilisation of resources

  • Continuous cost reduction

  • Increase in patient satisfaction

  • Professionalisation of the patient journey  

Strategic planning is also crucial for tapping into new revenue opportunities to diversify existing healthcare revenue streams. 

Benefit #2: Improved Collaboration

Strategic planning is about identifying operational challenges. It can also help to recognise issues that the team within the clinic management face on a daily basis, like the strain of long working hours.

By articulating a clear vision for your healthcare business ideas and actively involving employees in the strategic planning process, you can significantly boost morale. It's about ensuring that everyone feels seen and heard and knows that their contributions are valued. This inclusive approach not only increases team engagement, but also promotes employee retention. Of course, it ultimately improves the services you provide too.

Advantage #3: Increased Efficiency

Strategic healthcare business solutions to align operational activities with the organisation's objectives. This ensures that every action contributes to the achievement of business goals.

In addition, strategic planning empowers decision makers by providing them with the insight they need for smarter resource allocation in the dynamic healthcare landscape.

Advantage #4: Transparent Communication

It’s no different in a medical practice: business plan implementations should be shared with all stakeholders so they have a clear picture of how their actions will affect future outcomes. Transparent communication lets employees align their efforts towards achieving common goals, creating a more collaborative environment.

Benefit #5: Clear Alignment and Realisation of Goals

Involving key stakeholders in the strategic planning process is critical to aligning your goals with the overarching strategy. This ensures that everyone is on the same wavelength – from top clinic management to admin staff. Such harmony across the organisation reduces confusion and clarifies everything within the collective mission, from your healthcare marketing strategy to the overall long-term plan, which can then be implemented successfully. The collaborative approach also increases the overall effectiveness of your organisation's strategic initiatives.

Why a Strategic Healthcare Business Plan Can Fail

The many benefits of strategic planning in the healthcare sector are now clear. But why do many healthcare organisations find it so difficult to develop and implement standardised healthcare business solutions?

We asked three healthcare experts this question. Here are their answers:

Prof. Dr Rüdiger Heicappell

The Interpersonal Factor Is Underestimated

‘Healthcare is a sector that thrives on interpersonal interactions and is based on trust. This statement emphasises the central importance of the relationship between patients and medical staff.

‘A strong and trusting relationship forms the foundation for effective treatment and supports the recovery process. It emphasises the need for doctors and nurses to be empathetic and maintain open communication in order to promote the well-being of their patients.’

Prof. Dr Rüdiger Heicappell, Medical Director and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Asklepios Klinikum Uckermark, Schwedt

David-Ruben Thies

Modern Approaches such as the ‘New Work’ Concept Are not Being Utilised Sufficiently

‘We have to look at ourselves, because we’re actually the problem – and that means we also hold the solution. Of course we can grumble about bureaucracy, complain about the legal framework and then just wait. But it could be so much simpler: let's get off the beaten track and break new ground.

‘Of course, there is no obvious remedy for this. The ways to reach goals differ from project to project. At the Waldklinken, for example, we have succeeded in establishing New Work in nursing care. And since 2019, we have had a functioning electronic patient file that makes processes throughout the hospital much more efficient and benefits everyone – from doctors and nursing staff to our patients.’

David-Ruben Thies, CEO Waldkliniken Eisenberg GmbH

Dr Heinz-Christian Kuche

Fear Is One of the Biggest Obstacles

‘The biggest obstacle is the fear of those involved of leaving the existing system. In the German statutory health insurance system, it is implied to us doctors that there is a supposed sense of security.

‘We are even indirectly forced to present standardised medicine as sufficient and patient-oriented. In my opinion, both are wrong. In the statutory health insurance system, the patient receives insufficient attention and time, and therefore does not have the opportunity to address their needs at eye level.

‘However, if we adopt a patient-centred approach to medicine and are appropriately remunerated for the time available, we can explore the underlying causes of imbalances beyond a symptom-oriented diagnosis and treatment in order to ultimately have a lasting effect on lifestyle change.’

Dr Heinz-Christian Kuche, practice for holistic cardiology and vitality

How High Is the Quality of Your Healthcare Business Strategy?

We have compiled 20 questions below, each of which you can rate with one to five points:

  • 1 = not true at all

  • 2 = mostly untrue

  • 3 = sometimes true

  • 4 = often true

  • 5 = completely true

At the end, add up the points you have achieved to find your category in the evaluation scheme below. This will give you an initial assessment of the quality of your healthcare business strategy.

1. We systematically record and analyse patient feedback.

2. We have formulated clear measures to improve the patient experience.

3. We respond quickly to complaints and suggestions from patients.

4. We regularly measure the satisfaction of our patients.

5. Our strategy includes specific targets to increase patient satisfaction.

6. Our revenue targets are clearly defined and measurable.

7. We have formulated strategies to diversify our revenue streams.

8. We have a plan for cost efficiency and budgeting.

9. We regularly monitor and analyse our revenue.

10. Our strategic plans consider long-term financial sustainability.

11. Our marketing strategies are tailored to our target audience.

12. We consciously use specific communication channels for patient acquisition and retention.

13. Our organisation effectively uses digital tools to roll out our healthcare marketing strategy.

14. We regularly review the market position of our organisation and adjust it accordingly.

15. Our healthcare business strategy includes measures to strengthen brand awareness.

16. There are clear communication structures within the team.

17. Our employees receive regular training and further education.

18. Our employees are actively involved in decision-making processes.

19. We have established a system for assessing and rewarding performance.

20. Our healthcare business solutions include ways to motivate and retain employees.

What Your Answers Mean

20 - 40 points: the strategy of your organisation shows considerable room for improvement. There is an urgent need for action to increase the effectiveness of your solutions and ensure long-term healthcare revenue success.

41 - 60 points: your organisation has some strengths in its strategic plans, but there are also areas that need to be improved. Targeted actions can increase the effectiveness and success of your strategies.

61 - 80 points: you have a solid strategy that is effective at various levels. However, there is still room to optimise performance and achieve your goals more efficiently.

81 - 100 points: your healthcare facility has an excellent strategy that successfully covers the various important operational aspects. You are on the right track to ensure high patient satisfaction, stable healthcare revenue, effective marketing, good staff and clinic management and efficient time management.

Doctor holds a notepad and smiles in the direction of the camera

Qunosuite for Your Healthcare Facility

Many healthcare providers focus their strategic planning on high-quality facilities and first-class care. So what's the problem? The patient experience is often not the focus. This leads to dwindling patient loyalty, overburdened administrative processes and declining revenue. This is where our Qunosuite software solution comes in: it allows you to cover your entire patient journey - from initial online contact to post-op assessment management.

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