healthcare

Why is organizational analysis important in healthcare?

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Organizational analysis gives an overview of how a business or organization is performing. It evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of an organization, helping to identify areas for improvement and ways to eliminate problems so that the business becomes more successful and profitable.

Organizational analysis is relevant in any sector, but it can be particularly beneficial in industries such as healthcare, where change is constant and rapid. Stepping back from the day-to-day view of the organization and seeing it from a new perspective is essential. It gives an accurate and objective picture of how it is functioning and the potential for change.

Organizational analysis can be used to improve the quality of patient care, streamline processes, and optimize finances. No matter how successful an organization is, there is always scope for improvement to help maintain a competitive advantage. Failing to carry out regular assessments of an organization can lead to complacency and a lack of awareness of failings, which can, in turn, lead to falling standards and loss of business.

Organizational analysis models  

There are various organizational analysis models, including the McKinsey 7S Framework and SWOT Analysis.

The McKinsey 7S model looks at seven internal elements, divided into hard and soft elements. All these elements need to be reviewed to ensure they allow the organization to achieve its objectives. They need to be examined both in isolation and as a whole to ensure alignment across the elements.

Hard elements:

  • Strategy: needs to be clearly articulated and reinforced by the vision, mission, and values; needs to accommodate changing patient needs and demands
  • Structure: how business divisions are organized and lines of accountability; close interdepartmental co-ordination delivers a higher standard of patient care
  • Systems: the processes and procedures which determine how business is done

Soft elements:

  • Shared values: standards and norms need to guide employee behavior
  • Skills: required skills need to be in place to deliver strategy and structure
  • Staff: suitable recruitment, training, motivation, and rewards need to be in place
  • Style: the management style of the organization’s leaders needs to reflect values

Since the McKinsey method focuses on the importance of the alignment of these elements, there needs to be a continuous review of them. Changes to any one of the elements could have an impact on the others.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis focuses on the four core areas: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths

What do the patients like about the services provided?

Assess what the organization does well and its resources, including the quality of staff and assets. Strengths include the competencies and attributes which differentiate an organization from the competition, and a unique selling proposition, such as medical skills and procedures not available elsewhere. A location convenient to your client base could be another key strength. Other strengths include intangible assets, for example, an established brand name and brand loyalty.

Weaknesses

What do the patients dislike about the services provided, and what causes them to cancel?

A review of weaknesses should include an analysis of complaints and negative reviews. The assessment also examines limitations on resources available and any elements which are entirely lacking. Identifying areas of weakness and assessing the extent of the deficiency is essential. Also, to identify areas where competitors perform better, aiming to understand what resources they have that your organization does not, which might include intangible resources such as superior brand awareness.

Opportunities

What can be done to enhance the patient experience?

Many opportunities in the healthcare sector relate to the unmet needs of patients. This could include new treatment and service options. There are also opportunities where there is limited service available from competitors. Identifying these gaps in the market presents a chance to develop and provide new services that can enhance clients’ well-being and allow an organization to tap into new revenue streams. Opportunities may also extend to managing resources more effectively for greater efficiency within an organization.

Threats

What factors could drive customers away and potentially to competitors?

An awareness of current and anticipated threats is essential for the ongoing success of a healthcare organization. Threats can include the arrival of new competitors in the market, negative press coverage, and changes to healthcare regulations.

SWOT analysis can also be used to give management insight into how the competition is faring. You can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of other healthcare organizations if you operate in a competitive environment. This knowledge can be used to inform decisions for your own organization. The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, which also contributes to the need to conduct organizational analysis on an ongoing basis.

If you have acquired a high level of nursing skills and experience, you may feel ready to take your nursing career to the next level with a postgraduate degree in nursing. Studying for a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree will prepare you for taking on a range of new responsibilities, such as supporting organizational analysis in your workplace.

The University of Indianapolis MSN in Nursing Leadership includes the following modules:

  • Concepts in health informatics and population health
  • Healthcare issues and policies
  • Leadership and management for nurse executives
  • Strategic planning and marketing for nurse leaders

The program is entirely online, with no on-campus residency. This means students can continue to work, fitting their studies around their work schedule. The course lasts for seven semesters or approximately 28 months.

Developing a robust understanding of how to carry out an organizational analysis is an important part of further education in nursing. These skills will enable you to make a broader impact on the well-being of patients and the organization overall. In the rapidly changing healthcare sector, this proactive approach is vital for optimizing the performance of an organization and delivering the best possible patient care.

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