April 2015, Volume 65, Issue 4


Hospital vision and mission strategic planning and departmental performance

Ali Yawar Alam  ( King Fahad Hospital Hofuf, Al Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. )
Mohammad Khalid Alabdulaali  ( King Fahad Hospital Hofuf, Al Ahsa, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. )

The vision statement of a health care organization in United States \'is to be the best healthcare system in the Universe.\' Another health care organization in the States has the vision statement, "to be the world\'s leading consumer health care company," "create leading brands," "shape the future of consumer health care" and "recognize and reward excellence."1 A vision statement is forward-looking, defining a long-term objective of the organization.1 The Alzheimer\'s Association, for example, uses only four words in its vision statement: "A world without Alzheimer\'s."1 While a mission statement identifies what an organization is currently doing, a vision statement reveals what the organization hopes to accomplish and be known for in the future. A vision statement is brief, so it does not detail the methods for accomplishing the goal.1 Here is the catch, how to transform Vision and mission of a health care organization (or any other organization)? The answer to this lies in Strategic planning by the top leaders of the organization, tactical planning by middle line management and operational planning by first line management within their units and departments. However, to get the real fruits of these efforts, operational plans and tactical plans must be aligned with the organizational strategic plans. This is depicted in Figure-1.

Strategic planning is an organization\'s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.2-4 "The best way to predict the future is to create it."5,6 The best way to create the future is by strategic planning. Key components of strategic planning include an understanding of the organization\'s vision, mission, values and strategies and involves following the strategic planning cycle (Figure-2)

on an annual basis.4 Benefits of strategic planning are that; helps managers understand the present, think about the future, and recognize the signals that suggest change, creates proactive rather than reactive atmosphere and encourages innovation and change within the organization to meet the needs of dynamic situations.
Baldrige, a National Quality programme in USA, puts forwards the following values of high performing organizations (Figure-3).7

Over three decades, King Fahd Hospital in Hofuf (KFHH) is the leading provider of medical services in the province of Al-Ahsa (Eastern Region, K.S.A), since its inception in 1400 and until this day. KFHH strategic plan prepared for the medium range of three years (2012-14) is in alignment with the Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Strategic plan. This strategic plan was formulated following the strategic planning cycle which included; defining the vision, mission and values, analysis of current status, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis overall and also by each department/unit of the hospital and prioritization of the strategies proposed by departments/units. This was followed by formulation of strategic goals, objectives, indicators, monitoring plan and Annual evaluation methods.
In order to achieve the organization\'s strategic goals, in the year 2013, departments/units developed Annual operational plans, departmental/unit specific objectives and departmental performance indicators (DPIs). The departmental objectives are in alignment with the hospital strategic goals. The departmental performance Indicators (DPIs) were introduced by the Hospital Director and Strategic planning unit of the hospital in consultation with Clinical, Administrative and Nursing departments. Each department has a set of agreed upon indicators for monitoring the progress. DPIs are being evaluated on a quarterly and annual basis using \'Balanced Score Card System.\' This system helps us to make inter-departmental comparative analysis on select indicators as well as monitoring the progress of a specific department/unit over a period of time.
An evidence of how the departmental performance indicators (DPIs) and operational plans helped attainment of Hospital Strategic goals is depicted in Figure-4.

Hospital strategic goals achievement is very much linked to the departmental/unit performance. Aligning departmental objectives with the hospital strategic goals and making Annual Operational plans by departments/units would go a long way in improving departmental performance and realizing the hospital vision, mission and goals.


1. Houston Chronicle. (Online) (Cited 2014 Oct 14). Available from URL: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-vision-statements-health-care-industry-17637.html
2. Armstrong JS. The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions: A Reply. Strategic Management J 1986 7: 183-5.
3. Haines S. ABCs of strategic management: an executive briefing and plan-to-plan day on strategic management in the 21st century. (Online) (Cited 2014 Oct 14). Available from URL: http://www.csm-asia.com/csm/files/Strategic_Management_Framework.pdf.
4. Burkhart PJ, Reuss S. Successful Strategic Planning: A Guide for Nonprofit Agencies and Organizations. USA: Sage Publications. Inc.; 1993.
5. Alam AY. Predicting the Future; Embedding Evaluation in Public Health Programs. Editorial. Rawal Med J 2008; 33: 1-2.
6. Alam AY. Public Health Problem Solving Paradigm, Editorial. Rawal Med J 2007; 32: 1-2.
7. National Institute of standards and technology. (Online) (Cited 2014 Oct 14). Available from URL: http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/.

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