Expert answer:Walden University Health Care Organizations SWOT A

  

Solved by verified expert:No health care organization exists in a bubble. It is affected by, and exerts influence on, its environment. A SWOT analysis is a tool used to look at the internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) environmental strategic factors for any given company, including a health care organization. What is happening internally and externally in the general health care market that will affect the company? What about in its specific geographical area? Who are the customers? What are the company resources? How great is the demand for its product, and how is that health care organization different than the competition? The answers to these questions provide you with the answers necessary to evaluate the company’s strengths and vulnerabilities. In this assignment you will conduct a SWOT analysis of a health care organization.
To prepare for this Assignment:

Review this week’s Learning Resources.
Choose a health care organization, either one for which you are working or another in the community. It can be the same one you used for this week’s Discussion.

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To complete this Assignment, write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

Provide a brief summary of the location, services, and activities of your chosen health care organization.
Describe its service area in terms of current population, future population, competitors, and major environmental influences that will affect its operations 5 years from now.
Identify two threats and two opportunities (external assessments) for your chosen organization that may be present 5 years in the future.
Based on your current knowledge and general impression of the organization, what do you believe are its strengths and weaknesses (internal assessments)?

Your written assignments must follow APA guidelines. Support your work with specific citations from this week’s
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Organizational Values Statements
Nelson, William A, PhD; Gardent, Paul B. Healthcare Executive; Chicago Vol. 26, Iss. 2, (Mar/Apr 2011):
56,58-59.
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Ethics and values play a fundamental role in healthcare organizations’ culture. There are several basic
characteristics of an ethically driven organization: shared mission and vision, strong inherent core values
and culture, ethical practices, and ethical leadership. Some organizational values statements are
implemented effectively and serve as a guide for staff decisions and behaviors. The values statement
should describe the guiding principles by which the staff is expected to function to achieve the
organization’s mission. Following the decision to undertake an organizational values review, a values
review workgroup should he established to lead the process. Leadership must own and participate in
the values review process in an active and visible way. The workgroup, however, can help in the effort to
disseminate the updated document throughout the organization. Ultimately the most important way to
spread organizational values is by having leadership behaviors reflect those values day in and day out.
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Healthcare executives need to lead the organizations culture in reviewing and implementing values
statements.
Ethics and values play a fundamental role in healthcare organizations’ culture. There are several basic
characteristics of an ethically driven organization: shared mission and vision, strong inherent core values
and culture, ethical practices, and ethical leadership.
Despite the importance of the organization’s mission, vision and values, however, they tend to receive
less leadership attention than other responsibilities such as strategy, operations and structure. The
same is true regarding the attention given to creating and maintaining strong core values and ethics.
In complex healthcare organizations it is impossible to provide policies or guidelines to direct all clinical
and administrative behavior or to help staff make tough decisions. As organization and management
consultant and author Patrick Lencioni noted in a July 2002 Harvard Business Review article, “Core
values are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all of a company’s actions; they serve as its cultural
cornerstone.” An organization’s core values set the standards of conduct that are considered important
and therefore guide the behavior of individuals in the organization. The term “values” encompasses
both right and wrong expectant behaviors.
A vision presents what the organization wants to become and gives direction for the organization’s
future. The mission statement delineates a clear, concise and specific description of an organization’s
purpose. A values statement clarifies how the organization will conduct its activities to achieve the
organization’s mission and vision. It is a statement about how the organization will value patients, staff,
suppliers and the community. Values statements, reflecting common morality, frequently emphasize
respect, integrity, trust, caring and excellence.
Where vision and mission statements describe the organizations goals, a values statement represents
the core principles within the organization’s culture. All staff should be aware of, accept and integrate
the organization’s values into their decisions and behaviors.
The organization’s values can influence all the actions and decisions related to the mission and vision.
For example, when a question arises regarding a trade-off between profit and quality, it is the
organization’s values that will likely drive the response.
Some organizational values statements are implemented effectively and serve as a guide for staff
decisions and behaviors. In many organizations, however, statements are carefully crafted and adopted
only to be set aside, rarely referenced or just ignored. In other organizations the values statements are
treated as the latest marketing program with posters and pocket cards but little substance.
Worst of all are the organizations whose values statements conflict with the organization’s actual
practices and behaviors. Rather than fostering and maintaining a positive culture and setting an ethical
tone for behaviors and practices, such situations undermine staff morale, breed cynicism and can lead to
the acceptance of unethical practices.
Need for Values Review
The values statement should describe the guiding principles by which the staff is expected to function to
achieve the organization’s mission. Due to the importance of the values statement to the organization’s
culture, it should be regularly reviewed. This is similar to the need to periodically review clinical and
administrative policy statements such as end-of-life or conflict-of-interest polices or strategic or financial
plans that are regularly reviewed by executive leadership and the board.
The values review is not done primarily for the purpose of changing or modifying the wording of the
values statement. Rather, the review should be an in-depth assessment of specific ethics-grounded
values and the assimilation of those values into the organization’s day-to-day culture, practices and
behaviors of the organization’s staff.
Suggested Values Review Process
Following the decision to undertake an organizational values review, a values review workgroup should
be established to lead the process. The workgroup should include people beyond the executive office
and board. It should consist of administrative and clinical leaders; ethics, patient safety, compliance and
quality improvement professionals; and community representatives. The workgroup also should
consider the use of an outside resource, such as a professional who is knowledgeable in organizational
ethics and cultural change, to assist with the review.
To facilitate the review, the workgroup will need to rigorously examine both the beliefs and practices
within the organization. The workgroup should host a series of focus groups with frondine clinicians and
staff to explore staff members’ understanding of the organization’s values and the extent to which the
values drive their behaviors to achieve the organizations mission.
Identification of specific examples reflecting the values of the organization should be encouraged during
group meetings. Those behaviors that appear to run counter to the organization’s values statement also
should be identified and discussed. The use of a staff survey could aid the process of understanding
employees’ level of awareness and application of the current values statement. In addition, the
workgroup might examine how the organization’s leadership actions reflect the organization’s espoused
values, especially when difficult decisions or conflicts arise.
This broad-based review should help determine if there is a gap between organization’s stated values
and its culture and help identify areas in which there is a need for improvement. The review may also
indicate a need for leadership to clarify the organization’s values statement or, more likely, indicate the
need for more attention to making the values a more visible and active part of the organization.
After facilitating the extensive review process, the workgroup should report to the executive leadership
and board, including suggested changes to the values statement. The best values statements are not just
a list of lofty words like “integrity” and “commitment” – the values statement should include a brief
description for each word or phrase, providing greater detail of why and how specific values-related
words or phrases are to be actualized.
An organiza tionwide implementation plan is essential. Without a carefully planned dissemination
initiative the values statement can fail to translate into organizational practices and behaviors.
Dissemination and Application of Statements
Leadership must own and participate in the values review process in an active and visible way. The
workgroup, however, can help in the effort to disseminate the updated document throughout the
organization.
The educational push of this initiative should not mean simply handing out a document but, rather,
fostering discussions with leadership regarding how to make the specific values obvious and integrated
throughout the organization. These discussions need not end following a formal educational thrust;
discussions should be ongoing within all the organization’s departments.
In addition, the values document should be a living document, regularly noted and referenced. Some of
the strongest reinforcement of the organization’s values comes through the stories and examples of
how leadership and staff responded to difficult decisions by putting organizational values into action.
As was pointed out by Lencioni, if values are “going to really take hold in your organization, core values
need to be integrated into every employeerelated process – hiring methods, performance management
systems, criteria for promotions and rewards, and even dismissal policies.”
This review and ongoing dissemination effort will take time and commitment; in fact, it will be a
continuous process. However, the time and effort are justified as they can foster the alignment of
organizational values with organizational culture. Ultimately the most important way to spread
organizational values is by having leadership behaviors reflect those values day in and day out.
Sidebar
All staff should be aware of, accept and integrate the organization s values into their decisions and
behaviors.
Sidebar
The most important way to spread organizational values is by having leadership behaviors reflect those
values day in and day out.
AuthorAffiliation
William A. Nehon, PhD, is an associate professor, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical
Practice, Dartmouth Medical School. He also serves as adviser to the ACHE Ethics Committee andas
faculty at the ACHE annual ethics seminar at the Congress on Healthcare Leadership; programs also can
he arranged on-site. Por more information, please contact ACHE s Customer Service Center at (312) 4249400 or visit ache.org. Dr. Nelson can be reached at William, a. nehon @dartmouth. edu.
Paul B. Gardent is a senior associate, Center for Leadership and Improvement, and adjunct professor at
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and adjunct professor of Business
Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. He can be reached at
paul.b.gardent@dartmouth.edu.
Word count: 1358
Copyright Health Administration Press Mar/Apr 2011

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