• Discuss what process a health care organization, such as a primary or urgent care clinic, can use to plan for its future.
  • Discuss how the strategic planning process can assist with identifying opportunities to increase the number of patients that a clinic treats.
  • The following are some comments that may assist you in jump starting your development of answers to the First Written Assignment. They are not meant to limit the information or research you do. Also, even though the assignment is due at the end of the fourth week, does not mean that you are limited to those topics or portions of the text that have been covered to date.  You can use any part of the text or any resource pertinent to a question.1.       Question 1 is a broad one that reflects the environment that a HCO or clinic is developed and operates in.  Note that the question discusses primary care and urgent care. Primary care can include urgent care for last minute appointments in a physician’s office, a primary care clinic that takes walk-in appointments or be a part of the triage of an ER to steer patients away from resources that are treating patients with serious emergencies.                                In order to receive maximum credit for this you will need to add information on the Affordable Care Act [ACA] regarding its actual or potential impact, and also you could add information on what your State or City may be doing that can impact HCO’s such as this clinic. The best articles on the ACA would be those that offer a balanced view of the law’s implementation to date in that they are offering the pluses and minuses of the law’s impact, not making a political statement that it will or will not work.        In terms of economic, you can start with the impact of stakeholders that are involved in payment of providers and any changes that may be or have recently occurred that could affect the finances of clinics. Don’t leave out the actual or potential impact of the ACA. You can also consider Capital Markets [where money is borrowed] and any changes that may have resulted for the operation of clinics such as these.            For Social*, you could discuss the demographic characteristics of various populations in service areas and how that may affect these clinics in terms of finances and or services provided.  3.       Question 3: Decisions regarding clinic growth involves the strategic planning process. You need to determine the factors are in the environment {SWOT} that would lead you to conclude that there are growth opportunities. Once you determine where in the community there are growth opportunities, such as, increase in children, elderly…you then can set goals to attract those parts of the population. But, don’t forget that you need as part of SWOT to determine what internal strengths and weaknesses you have as you evaluate growth opportunities: staff, technology, expertise… and market forces, competitors, regulatory…that can impact your ability to attract the new patient population[s].          As for providing the new services in-house or through affiliations, the decision will depend on the assessment of the internal strengths and weaknesses versus external or market forces that would impact where this sort of service should be provided.4.       Question 4: This question deals with measurement of activities in the clinic. These could be measurements related to administrative or clinical activities: budget goals, or infection rates, as examples.
  • 5.       Question 5: This question relates to the issue of Quality Improvement in health care facilities. You need to describe the overall process you would set up to identify opportunities, including implementation of those opportunities.  Do not forget how the employees might be involved in identifying and implementing opportunities.
  • These measurements must be quantifiable as opposed to process or structure oriented.** They can relate to the goal or goals that you establish in question 3 in addition to any other aspect of the clinic’s operation.  The next question discusses processes that relate to measuring and improving clinic operations.
  •           In order to do well on this question you need to use the strategic planning process to describe the rationale for the growth opportunity [ies] that you identify.
  • 2.       Question 2 relates to a “Comprehensive Mission Statement” for this clinic. It is not just about the development of a statement but you must explain why it is comprehensive and that means providing a source that defines a comprehensive statement or points out what should be in one; and then, comparing your statement to that source’s recommendations. Breakdown the mission statement into its components and then compare it to the criteria for a good statement provided by the expert source, such as our text.   Finally, explain how your statement leads to the provision of quality services.
  • Social factors have an influence on individual health, as shown by disparities in the health outcomes of individuals according to gender, marital status, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.
  •                 In terms of political you would need to look at the impact that government can have on such a clinic. For a start look at the governmental stakeholders that have an interest in the operation of such a clinic through their authority to pass laws and to regulate the activities of HCO’s.

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