Environmental analysis is becoming a crucial aspect of strategic planning. That owes to the increasingly changing factors that influence strategies’ success as well as organizations’ sustainability. In that respect, the following is an environmental analysis of Florida Hospital with a SWOT analysis identifying the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The report also presents a summary of the organization's position and ability to address the environment. Finally, some goals and objectives are proposed for three years.
Current and prospective customers
The Florida hospital currently serves low-income segments in demand for affordable care that is based on Christianity values. Also, although the hospital has medical centers in other regions, its key market is Florida. However, the changing economic and healthcare demands mean that the hospital has potential customers including other regions in demand for the holistic healthcare. Other potential customers include the high income segments looking for holistic healthcare as they would value the hospital’s system, which goes beyond treatment to enhancing healthy living and which embraces patients follow up (Florida Hospital, 2015b).
Various factors influence healthcare organizations’ environment, hence having potential to impact on the hospital’s operations and strategies’ success. Some of the factors that influence the Florida hospital’s operations and which determine its opportunities as well as threats are summarized as follows.
Economic: Improving economic conditions reflected in falling unemployment and GDP growth indicates increasing income level hence could increase demand for better healthcare.
Technological: the Technological advance is driving innovation in the industry enhancing organization's capacity to address more complex problems.
Competition: Rising competition that is enhanced by advanced technology as well as markets’ liberalization need suitable strategies to attract and retain customers (Gene, 2015).
Consumer and Social: Increasing customer awareness and concern over healthcare services and procedures’ effects leads to consumers demanding safer and more effective healthcare services.
Legal and regulatory: Increasing industry regulation relating to aspects such as payments systems and medical services standards determines the payments systems and the standard of services that the organization can offer to the market (Conklin, 2002).
Given the above factors, the following table summarizes the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Source: (Conklin, 2002; Florida Hospital, 2015b & 2015b; Gene, 2015).
Importance of environmental analysis in strategic planning
Organizations employ and develops new technologies, deals with the changing demographic and social issues. Further, hey address political as well as legislative changes while also participating in the health care economy. Thus, it is important to analyze the environment to understand the changes and their nature. In that respect, focusing on the key changes, their early identification has a positive impact on the organization (Hugher & Wheelen, 2007).
On the other hand, internal environment involves the groups or elements that affect a corporation directly. These elements/groups include the local community, government, competitors, suppliers, creditors, customers, labor unions and employees, groups of special interest, and the associations of trade. The environment’s analysis entails an examination of the major internal factors seeking to detect the strategic issues that have a likelihood of impacting the success of an organization (Swayne, Duncan & Ginter, 2008).
Additionally, the analysis of the current issues through the analysis helps in earlier identification of signals in the external factors that might portend a given future issue. On the basis of environmental analysis, managers identify the patterns suggesting that an emerging issue could be significant for an organization. Thus, the early identification helps in developing of suitable strategies (Hugher & Wheelen, 2007).
Environmental analysis implications on strategic planning
The environmental analysis intent is positioning an organization in its environment. However, additional specific goals might be identified in the process. The specific environmental analysis goals are:
Identify as well as analyze the significant current issues and the changes that could have an impact on the organization.
Detect as well as analyze the early signs of the emerging issues.
Speculate on likely future changes and issues that could significantly impact the organization.
Classifying and prioritizing of issues and the changes generated outside the organizations.
Foster more strategic thinking in the whole organization (Swayne et al., 2008).
Benefits of competitive analysis in strategic planning
The competitors’ analysis seeks to understand and define an organization’s environment through the identification of specific issues, competitors identification, determination of rivals’ strengths and the weakness as well as anticipating their moves. That involves the collection of data concerning the industry as well as the competitors as part of the strategic thinking and planning. Additionally, organizations should be effectively positioned to serve their customers, hence a need to identify competitors and their practices (Hugher & Wheelen, 2007).
The information on the competitors is crucial in the selection of strategies that strategically positions an organization within a market. Thus intelligence system or the competitors’ knowledge is crucial for survival. In that view, an organization need to have a system that constantly monitors the competitors and customers’ activities, filtering raw information from internal and external sources, then processing it to strategically significance information, as well as communicating the intelligence to strategic planners (Swayne et al., 2008).
Impact of evolving legal, economic and regulatory issues on strategic planning
The changing environmental factors have implications for strategic planning. That owes to the factors’ effect on the success of current strategies hence a need to embrace new measures and strategies that are more effective in addressing the changes. Such factors include the improving economic conditions that provide an opportunity for hospitals to provide premium services. The legal and regulatory environment change also requires the healthcare organizations to embrace a measure that ensures adherence to the regulations that would ensure smooth running of the organizations and avoid conflict with authorities. In that respect, legal and regulatory changes relating to licensing and payments systems are of great concern to strategic planning for the organization (Hugher & Wheelen, 2007).
Organization assessment based on SWOT analysis
Based on the external environment analysis, it is clear that Florida hospital is among the leading healthcare organizations with a holistic health care approach and affordable healthcare model. Also, the hospital has adequate resources ranging from advanced facilities and the link to research institutions. In that respect, the hospital has strengths that it can effectively use to utilize market opportunities.
Ability to meet, goals, mission and objectives set in previous strategic plans
The organization’s ability to meet its goals is dependent on various factors. That include how it has been affected by the unexpected/new issues or trends in the industry. In that respect, the organization has been able to sustain it's holistic and affordable care model with increasing demand for accessible healthcare. The ability to meet the objectives, mission and vision is also dependent on the new opportunities resulting from the new issues, trends, or the events within the industry. In that respect, the organization has had an opportunity to serve increasing demand for affordable healthcare (Hugher & Wheelen, 2007).
Ability to respond to internal and external changes as well as challenges
An organization’s ability to respond to external and internal environment changes, as well as challenges, is dependent on the suitability of its positioning in the market as well as its resources. In that respect, the effectiveness of the response is dependent on whether the hospital offers value, which provides a competitive advantage. In that case, the hospital’s holistic approach enables it to offer value in line with environmental changes such as the need for holistic healthcare. Further, the organization’s link to research institution and advanced facilities enhances its ability to address emerging issues and changes. That is because the advanced facilities and research-based services enhances ability to utilize resources (Swayne et al., 2008).
Recommended goals and objectives
Given the hospitals positioning in the industry and the environmental factors, the following is a summary of goals and objectives set to be achieved in three years. The goals and objectives seek to use the organization's strengths to utilize the available opportunities while addressing possible threats.
Enhance service effectiveness
Link with two more research institutions
Research and Identify mean of enhancing treatment one complex medical conditions
Add more services to the hospital system
Add one more service to the hospital system on an annual basis
Add more facilities and equipment
Enhance market reach
Open more medical centers
Develop an interactive online platform
Reduce patient turn around time
Increase number of staff
Adopt more advanced medical systems
Ease service access
Embrace new payment systems
Develop links with other medical centers for referrals
Enhance relationship with patients
Develop a modern data system
Apply better communication channels
Given the analysis, Florida Hospital is a leading healthcare organization in Florida, and its operations are subject to various factors. Among the external factors that influence the operations are economic, legal and regulatory, social and consumer factors as well as technological factors. Those factors have been identified as key determiners of the organization’s opportunities and threats. Further, the firm’s internal environment determines its strengths and weaknesses. With that, the organization has been identified as being well-positioned to pursue its current vision and mission. However with changing market environment, there is a need for new strategies that address the environment to enhance performance and sustainability, hence recommendations for three years.
Conklin, P. (2002). Health Care in the United States: An Evolving System. Retrieved from, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mfr/4919087.0007.102/--health-care-in-the-united-states-an-evolving-system?rgn=main;view=fulltext
Florida Hospital (2015a). About Us. Retrieved from, https://www.floridahospital.com/about
Florida Hospital. (2015b). Florida Hospital History. Retrieved from, https://www.floridahospital.com/about/history
Gene J. (2015). How Market Forces Will Impact Health Care. The AHA 2015 Environmental scan. Retrieved from, http://www.hhnmag.com/Magazine/2014/Sep/gate-aha-environment-scan-2015
Hugher, D. & Wheelen, T. (2007). Essentials of Strategic Management. 4th Ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Swayne, L., Duncan, W. & Ginter, P. (2008). Strategic Management of Healthcare Organizations. 6th Ed. California: Willey.