How to build a strategic business plan for your practice
A well-structured strategic business planning process can help your practice in both the short and the long term
The business of medicine becomes more challenging each day. Throughout the country, physicians are experiencing organizational changes in the delivery system, reimbursement for demonstrated value rather than quantity of care, enhanced technology, and an ever-changing regulatory environment. Strategic business planning is more important than ever. Here’s our advice on why it’s important and how to do it successfully.
Why bother with strategic business planning?
Imagine building a house without a blueprint or taking a family vacation without a destination. Your practice is no different. Without a formal process to identify your mission, values, goals, projects, timing, barriers, opportunities, and strategies, you are likely to miss good opportunities and make serious and expensive mistakes.
What are the potential benefits of strategic business planning?
A well-structured strategic business planning process can help your practice in both the short and the long term. Let’s start with immediate value. First, strategic business planning provides clear direction, preventing the haphazard occurrence of activities that may actually work against each other. Second, the process offers an opportunity for practice owners, managers, and other workforce members to collaborate in setting the future direction of the practice. Participation in planning enhances the likelihood of successful implementation of agreed upon projects and priorities. Third, it allows the practice to set priorities. Everything can’t be done simultaneously, so consensus on a logical order makes more sense than launching multiple initiatives simultaneously. Fourth, strategic business planning offers the potential for enhanced financial performance. Fifth, clarity of focus can improve the quality of patient care.
In addition to all these short-term benefits, strategic business planning has great long-term value. After it’s done, a practice can use it as the benchmark against which to measure progress in achieving agreed upon goals. New opportunities for program expansion and operational improvement can also be vetted against the plan for consistency.