Health System strategic planning requires a new approach for today’s healthcare environment. The rapid, industry-wide changes brought on by demographic, regulatory, entrepreneurs, technology, emerging pandemics and changing population expectations are upsetting the age-old rules.

The role of health system, purchaser, insurer, provider, and customer are all changing, and the clean distinctions of yesterday are blurred today. Health systems clinging to the traditional models of success are experiencing increasing challenge while others and new entrants adapt to the new industry rules and gain market position. As a result, health systems’ strategic focus and planning approaches must also change.

Driving the strategy changes are a confluence of patient service, convenience and delivery model demands and entrepreneur and other non-traditional competitor entrant to the provider industry. Increased pricing pressures and reimbursement shifts towards longitudinal quality metrics are accelerating the dissonance between the old and new rules for success leaving some caught in the middle. However, successful health systems are changing their strategic focus to reclaim the health systems’ industry position and customers. While maintaining geographic position and market share efforts, the most advanced health systems are focusing creating new capabilities, forming non-traditional partnerships and shifting delivery models towards access and convenience to drive their success in the new environment.

The approach and tools used to craft successful health system strategic plans are also changing. Current planning processes make use of the rapidly changing industry dynamics and the increased data availability. New approaches emphasize the external view and embrace partnerships from outside the industry. Moreover, with increasing levels of data available, predictive and graphical viewing tools are being used to collect and view big data. The availability big data sets are allowing more accurate scenario boundary formation and outcome probabilities thereby allowing pilots to move ahead where historically more projection accuracy was needed.

Health system strategy and planning process are changing. The “5-year plan” with detailed strategies and tactics is less relevant today than an agile planning approach focused on the emerging success metrics and themes. Successful health systems will adapt to the changes and use their leadership positions to appropriately guide the industry transformation.

The new trends in health systems strategy and Planning will bring in new Themes such as

a) Redefining the customer as Patient, Consumer and payer with each requiring definate strategic plan

b) Industry positioning through vertical intergration and non traditional partnerships addressing the blurred distintion between payer, provider and purchaser

c)Market positioning to ensure scale economics and network adequacy needed to manage populations

d) Creating market relevance and organisational essentiality as alternative proliferate

e) Building capability to meet customer demand forconvenient ambulatory and care management solutions delivering longitudinal quality outcomes

Published by Aquinius Mung'atia

Aquinius Mung’atia is the Head of Projects at Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa, and was previously the General Manager of Muthaiga Golf Club and Sigona Golf Clubs, respectively. He is an expert in Strategic Management with over 20 years of experience in both hospitality and healthcare Industry. My Career path boast of extensive training and consultancy experience in Hospitality Industry, Hospital Support Services and Operations, Healthcare Projects and Facility Management, among others. The author is currently a PhD student in Business Administration and holder of MBA in strategic Management (University of Nairobi) and a 1st class honors degree in Hotel and Institution Management (Maseno University) Aquinius is also a healthcare insight and a data analytic enthusiast. Follow him on or Facebook Page

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