11.07.2019 in Medicine

Health Care Strategic Management

St. Francis Maternal Health Care Internal Strengths and Weaknesses

Internal strengths and weaknesses help identify the internal capabilities and limitations that the St. Francis Maternal Health Centre is currently facing. The strengths include the following:

  • Education and research. St. Francis Maternal Health Centre engages in educational and research programs, which are used in promoting awareness of different health care issues that the patients are experiencing. In addition, they have multicultural staff that offers support to the patients and their families (Swayne, Duncan, & Ginter, 2012). Therefore, education and research capabilities constitute a major strength of the St. Francis Maternal Health Care Centre.
  • Quality assurance. It is important to define and develop a quality assurance culture. St. Francis Maternal Centre has strong guidelines for the development of quality assurance processes. Quality assurance processes aim at developing the services offered to the patients and families. The quality assurance programs often include research and education.
  • Board & management structure and skills. St. Francis Maternal Care Centre has a well-structured board, which comprises of a combination of appropriate skills and expertise. Its composition aims at reflecting the key functions of the hospital. Moreover, management structures are aligned with the needs of the hospital. Apart from this, the center has set leadership and partnership standards, which guide the overall organizational management and governance processes.
  • Role of leadership & coordination. St. Francis Maternal Care Centre undertakes a more proactive leadership role, which enhances the coordination and communication with the patients.  It helps create strong relationships between the service providers and the patients and their families (Grigoroudis, Orfanoudaki & Zopounidis, 2012). St. Francis Maternal Care Centre recognizes the importance of effective communication in the provision of quality care services to the patients and families since its lack negatively affects the delivery of quality care. Therefore, St. Francis Maternal Health Centre has strong leadership and coordination models to enhance the communication with the hospital units.

On the other hand, St. Francis Maternal Health Care Centre experiences various internal weaknesses, which limit the performance and delivery of health care services to the patients.  The internal weaknesses include the following:

  • Hospice day care. St. Francis Maternal Health Care Centre does not have extended services to provide continuous access to the specialized care. Usual day care services offer access to specialized care and adjustment of the environment for the patients. The center lacks funding and opportunities to approach a more proactive model to finance its specialized services.
  • Shortfall in inpatient hospice bed capacity. St. Francis Maternal Centre does not meet the requirements of 8 to 10 inpatient hospital beds for each 100,000 population. To deal with the deficit, the center is trying to expand its services to different areas. Moreover, the shortfall in the provision of the inpatient hospital beds limits the ability of the hospital to provide effective care services to the patients.

Health Care Industry Opportunities and Threats

One of the main opportunities in the health care industry is a new business initiative. These include collaboration with different health care firms, creation of new health care programs as well as increased funds to improve healthcare informatics, which assist in providing additional funding and expansion of the health care organizations (Best et al., 2012). Nevertheless, the health care industry faces significant external threats, which include economic and political insecurity, budget deficits, increased pressure toward reducing the health care costs  and increased demand for medical technology.

SWOT Analysis for Francis Maternal Health Centre

The SWOT analysis summarizes the key issues in terms of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with an organization.


  • Good programs are already implemented  to promote the provision of health care services
  • The presence of key technological systems including WIC data system
  • Commitment by others and potential partners to enhance the performance of the centre
  • Effective models and initiatives from different sources
  • Effective community level programs and initiatives
  • Presence of standards of care
  • Increased use of information technology and IT infrastructure access in the hospital
  • Strong financial support and resources from the state government

  • Education opportunities through technology systems
  • The presence of mass media and social  marketing
  • Increased reimbursements
  • Development of coalitions to coordinate the health care programs
  • Development  of a new and existing data systems such as PRAMS( Pregnancy Risk  Assessment Monitoring System)
  • Increase in the case management
  • The funding of available technology systems
  • Provision of educational opportunities for providers
  • Involvement and the coordination of the other organizations
  • The establishment of  HIPAA( Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) for effective interpretation

  • Not possible to reach all persons through the current programs
  • Lack of culturally sensitive educational tools
  • Language barriers
  • Poor reimbursement rates and programs
  • Lack of adequate financial resources and incentives
  • Rural accessibility due to transportation issues
  • Lack of community based programs
  • Mass media often sends unrealistic and unreliable data and information
  • Lack of appropriate level of professional access and expertise
  • Weaker legislations for certain issues

  • The lack of adequate financial resources Insufficient coverage of the insurance services
  • The lack of qualified personnel
  •  Limited time to perform the various roles and tasks
  • Legislators lacks information and knowledge about the medical issues
  • The funding of undocumented women
  • Resistance and barriers to the regionalization of health care services
  •  Lower population levels could reduce provider availability, more so in the rural areas
  • Personal bias and negative attitudes
  • Ignorance among the care providers and other territorial issues


Present and Prospective Customers

Present customers of the St. Francis Maternal Health Care Centre include women and young girls. Both women and girls are considered the most vulnerable group of the society due to the argument that most women face higher medical risks than men. Moreover, female gender is often excluded from the government’s special care considerations. Prospective customers of the center include women and girls from all age groups (Haux, Winter, Ammenwerth, & Brigl, 2013). In future, St. Francis Maternal Health Centre will target all female population to reduce the number of deaths related to infectious diseases through the delivery of specialized care services.

Impact of External Factors

Some of the external factors include the consumer and social factors, which significantly affect the performance of St. Francis Maternal Health Centre.

  • Consumer and social factors. These factors are very useful in improving the overall health care services as they assist in understanding the demographics and other characteristics of the patients. They study patients’ external lifestyles and demographic changes. Most importantly, the health care sector faces a challenge of complying with the changing patients’ needs.
  • Competition. Competition pushes the center to offer quality health care services compared to its competitors. Competitive analysis always examines the current industry situation and attractiveness. In-depth analysis of the competitive factors and the influence of competition are important in enhancing the provision of quality health care services.
  • Technological. Technological advancement enhances health care services through the provision of improved programs and services. Today, the health care sector is focusing on the adoption of new methods and systems to deliver quality health care services. The industry is not expected to improve the existing technical tools, but rather develop new ways of organizing the health care services.
  • Economic factors. Economic factors are relevant to the improvement of the overall health care services in terms of financial support. The nature of competition in the health care industry is driven by the limited financial resources of the nation. Some of the critical economic factors to consider are the interest and inflation rates, which reduce the amount of the disposable income spent on the health care services.
  • Finally, legal and regulatory aspects are critical in improving the compliance and control of the health care delivery programs. This includes legislations that limit the ability of the health care industry to operate effectively. Recently, the number of laws related to medical insurance and health care has increased.

Purpose of Environmental Analysis

All successful organizations align their internal environment with the external environment. Former aspect includes policies, operations, human and financial resources. Environmental analysis of the health care industry determines the potential impact of particular issues on the organizational climate of St. Francis Maternal Health Centre. Most importantly, environmental analysis helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of an organization (Grigoroudis et al., 2012). The center might also consider governmental opportunities regarding the delivery of the quality healthcare services to the patients. Environmental analysis has useful implications for the development of the strategic plan as it helps assess external threats and opportunities for growth and support of the strategic goals and objectives.

Evolving External Factors

Major externalities include economic, social, legal and regulatory, technological and competitive factors. Escalation of such external issues as the crisis of external funding, changing demographics and lifestyles, political interference and lack of external coordination between the state and federal units negatively influence the strategic plan and its objectives. Today, the sector focuses on adopting new methods and systems to deliver high quality health care services and prevent or overcome existing issues.
External economic factors are also changing. The most critical factors to consider include interest and inflation rates since they reduce the amount of the disposable income available to be spent on the health care services. In addition, current legislations continue changing due to the difficulties of compliance and control of the health care delivery programs, which limits the ability of an organization to operate effectively

Benefits of Competitive Analysis

Some of the benefits of competitive analysis include the provision of systematic comparison of the healthcare products and services among the key competitors. It is also an effective analysis approach, which helps establish the goals and strategies for the center. Senior executives of Francis Maternal Health Centre hold strategic meetings to review their competitiveness compared to other hospital units in the industry. Competitive analysis assists in the marketing positioning of the health care center within the industry (Ball, Weaver & Kiel, 2013). It helps identify the benefits demanded by the customers to build a brand image and a relevant market position. Finally, competitive analysis is useful in improving the health care service offerings to the patients and their families. Delivery of health care service is a major weakness, which limits the ability of the hospital to gain additional customers and patients.

Assessment of SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis helps an organization accomplish the mission, goals and objectives of the strategic plan. St. Francis Maternal Health Centre has a strong board management structure and skills, which are useful in promoting the overall leadership within the center. The board members from diverse disciplines, strong leadership and coordination roles assist in setting and implementing effective strategic plans to enhance the future success of the hospital. Regarding responding to the internal and external changes and challenges, St. Francis Maternal Health Centre has well-established committees and practices, which ensure enhancement of the strategic performance.

Action Plan for 2016 – 2021

This section will incorporate the stated goals and objectives in a five-year strategic plan.

Patients & Families

Strategic Objective 1: To develop and expand the health care services offered by St Francis Hospital to patients and families with the help of the local government medical guidelines.
To achieve this strategic objective, St Francis Maternal Care Centre will develop new outpatient services, St. Francis units at new locations, non-cancer palliative care units and expand further the bereavement support units.


Strategic Objective 2:  To establish a strong portfolio based on the exceptional clinical services, educational and research programs that support the creation of 100% relevant and reliable policies in the next six months.
To meet the specifications of this strategic objective, the center will cooperate with board members on the key areas to offer strong leadership. It will also increases its representation among the committees and other relevant forums at the regional and international levels. Most importantly, it will improve current external communications strategy to share the leading practices of St. Francis Maternal Centre. The creation of an interdisciplinary palliative care unit and research is also critical to the success of the education and research programs of the hospital.


Strategic Objective 3: To identify and develop partnerships with 70 percent of its health care units to promote policy, education and service growth by 2017.
To achieve this goal, St. Francis Maternal Centre will cooperate with different departments and relevant partners to promote the achievement of its strategic objectives. Joint appointment is also appropriate in the development of key palliative care services. The delivery of palliative care services will enhance service efficiency of the community nursing units.

Education & Research

Strategic Objective 4. To become a fully developed center of high quality service delivery in multidisciplinary research on palliative care by 2020.
To achieve this goal, the center will develop the MSc in palliative care course. The course aims at providing education on pediatric care to different care teams. Additional development and training on care is needed to enhance the delivery of health care services to a diverse group of people (Swayne et al., 2012). Most importantly, the center will offer a wider scope of research and develop new approaches to delivering quality education and training.

Staff & Volunteers

Strategic Objective 5: To practice excellence in the overall recruitment of staff and volunteers by 2018.
To meet this goal, St. Francis Maternal Centre will develop an effective HR approach to create specific plans and strategies on the improvement of its objectives. The center can also improve its internal communication and consultation activities to ensure effective delivery of services. The health care center also seeks to improve its existing volunteer roles and duties to meet the needs of the patients efficiently.


Strategic Objective 7. To secure around 70% of funding from external sources to meet both current and future budget needs as well as to facilitate financial flexibility in response to various emerging demands by 2021.
The health care center will evaluate the resource implications associated with the achievement of the key strategic objectives, which is also relevant in securing funding for the improved health care services (Haux et al., 2013). In addition, it will help create new sources of funding for the health care care units.
In summary, these seven strategic goals are critical in achieving the main strategic objectives and goals to ensure a better performance. Continuously, St. Francis Maternal Health Centre has aligned its plans with the strategic values and objectives of the company, which enhances acceptance and support from the surrounding community.

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