Strategic Planning – A Path to Success For Your ASC

Having a strategic plan can be a valuable resource for any business and ASC’s are no exception. A strategic business plan is a tool that outlines your company’s current market landscape, progress to date, the strategic priority going forward, and plans for identifying and handling challenges and opportunities.

In all of these assessment areas, the ASC is viewed from multiple angles, focusing on elements such consumer behavior, finances, sales, business development and quality. In an ambulatory surgery center, these elements can translate as finances, quality, physician recruitment, new service lines and patient satisfaction.

Putting together a strategic plan for your ambulatory surgery center requires an investment. One of the largest pieces of that investment will come from the time and commitment of some of the best people within your organization. It’s critical for those most important team members working on the plan to invest their valuable time needed to fully examine your organization and make informed decisions about it’s direction.

The following are the 4 major benefits of having a strategic plan for your ASC:

IMPROVED FOCUS

A strategic plan for your ambulatory surgery center creates an opportunity for your organization’s leaders to utilize input from valuable team members and incorporate those into your business operations. ASC leaders can frequently expect valuable ideas for improving organizational processes from team members. Without a strategic plan in place, they may find it difficult to incorporate these suggestions in meaningful ways. Your ASC’s strategic plan will give you the ability to implement the best ideas into your key initiatives and incorporate them throughout your organization.

Your strategic plan also assists leaders in reducing low-priority projects that might otherwise consume too much of the valuable time and energy of your top team members. Often it is hard to say no to solid ideas. Without the clear direction created by your strategic plan, these suggestions can only serve to create a distraction. If you instead focus on improving your focus on the elements most essential to your success, each team member can sustain better focus on your most critical objectives. The priorities created by your strategic plan will make it easier to avoid any distracting ideas.

ORGANIZATIONAL ALIGNMENT

A strategic plan will help get every team member of your ambulatory surgery center on the same page. It is not uncommon to identify departments within your ASC which are headed in different directions. Even though each department may be headed in the right direction in regards to their departmental goals, the ASC itself may be lagging to achieve its most critical mission objectives. When you have a strategic plan, you create a situation where finance, operations, marketing, clinical, human resources, business development, and any other departments can align their efforts towards the goals of your ASC.

YOUR ROADMAP FOR THE FUTURE

An ASC strategic plan puts in place a direction for your leadership team. It creates an environment for creating priorities in regards to your growth initiatives and defines how you will measure success. Think of it as a way to hep people throughout your organization have a clearer understanding of what they should be focusing their work on. With your clearly defined strategic plan, you will find your priorities, the ones that create the most success, are being addressed first. One example is if cost containment is one of the highest priorities for your ambulatory surgery center, the strategic plan might include that you will work to increase awareness of and movement toward that specific goal, maybe by improving employee education. Then by specifying how frequently employee education will focus on and reinforce cost containment, it will allow your team to better track their metrics on this specific goal. This will shift your team’s focus to “cost containment through employee education”, instead of just “increasing employee education.”

GET EVERYONE ON BOARD

While working towards the creation of your strategic plan, try to get input from leaders within your ASC. Compile and analyze their input and share your message back to every member of your team. Your team members should know where your organization needs to be and the ways it will get there. Also be sure to fully and clearly document your strategy and share if with everyone on your ASC team to ensure they are all on the same page.

Try to create a strategic plan for your ASC that combines your vision and your mission. Stick to your strategic plan and treat it as your road map for the future success of your ambulatory surgery center, And one final note. Don’t be shocked if your ASC ends up right where you wanted it to be. Successful.

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