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Each chapter in this section addresses one of the major responsibilities of healthcare managers. In the following list, the core managerial responsibilities are shown in bold. In Figure S2.1, they fall under the broad umbrella of responsibility for vision, mission, and goals, resting on a foundation of legal and ethical, risk management, and communication responsibilities.


The relationship of managerial responsibilities.

Strategic Planning

An organization's strategic planning process drives the responsibilities of managers. The classic view of strategic planning is (1) identifying where an organization is now, (2) determining where it wants to be in the future, (3) assessing what it has to work with, and (4) deciding how it will get to where it wants to be. Although the responsibilities of managers overlap and come into play throughout this planning process, it may be helpful to relate the responsibilities of managers to the four general components of strategic planning in this manner:

  • Mission: Where are we now?

  • Vision, Goals, Legal, and Ethical: Where do we want to be?

  • Staffing, Fiscal, Marketing, Communication: What do we have to work with?

  • Policies and Procedures, Patient Care, Risk Management: How will be get there?

The strategic planning process may be applied to reaching the broadest goals of healthcare systems, or it may be used for day-to-day problem-solving—both professional and personal. All accomplishments require plans. Like the studies of organizations, management, and leadership, a wide range of disciplines have viewed strategic planning from a wide range of perspectives and numerous models and variations.1,2 For the purposes of this section, the steps of strategic planning are to:

  1. Determine where you are (strengths and weaknesses) through honest external and internal reviews.

  2. Determine where you want to be in the long term (mission and vision) and set priorities to be addressed.

  3. Clearly define the objectives that must be met to address each priority.

  4. Determine who is accountable for meeting the objectives (allocation of time, human capital, and finances).

  5. Conduct frequent formal reviews of the process to determine progress toward goals.

Although it appears systematic and sensible, the process is actually a series of ups and downs rather than a straight line from where an organization or person is and where he or she wants to be. Strategic planning demands ongoing modifications in response to external forces and internal changes, and not all components of strategic planning are always critical.

One model of strategic planning ...

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