Strategic Plan: Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for Emory Healthcare Staff and Providers
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Within the last 10 years, the health care industry has seen big changes, not only in philosophy, but also with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. There have been changes in political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that influence strategic planning. Americans desire increased quality patient care, wellness, and prevention programs. Health care organizations are seeing changes in volume and demographics related to their patients, along with labor and technologies related to the health care organization.
For this assignment, select a health care organization within your state or region.
Imagine you have been selected by the facility’s executive committee to develop a strategic plan that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision. Use critical thinking skills and research current events of your chosen organization to prepare your assignment.
Write an 8-page Strategic Plan include the elements listed below.
- Differentiate between strategic management, strategic thinking, strategic planning, and managing strategic momentum.
- Propose one specific analytical tool suitable for use as an adaptive strategy that will be the most effective in helping an organization achieve its strategic plan.
- Propose the manner and provide an example of how the selected analytical tool will be used to support the strategic proposal.
- Research three internal and three external factors that could become barriers to the success of the proposed strategic plan.
- Recommend at least one solution to each of the possible barriers to implementing your proposed strategic plan.
- Determine the specific segment of the market that your organization’s strategic plan will target.
- Recommend the most effective approach to marketing your strategic plan and provide examples.
Emory is one of the healthcare systems in Georgia, featuring multiple hospitals and clinics. This facility is part of Emory University (Emory University, n.d.). The healthcare management is implementing a strategic plan that would enable it to vaccinate all employees in the facility as of October 1st. According to Emory’s mission, integrity, caring, and excellence guide the facility’s everyday behaviors. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the strategic plan that is necessary to implement to vaccinate the employees. The plan features differences between aspects of strategic planning such as strategic management and strategic thinking, an analytical tool to be used in the plan and how it will be used, likely barriers and solutions to counter them, the plan’s target segment, and the most effective marketing approach.
Difference between Strategic Management, Strategic Thinking, Strategic Planning, and Managing Strategic Momentum
Strategic management, strategic thinking, strategic planning, and managing strategic momentum are different aspects that organizations utilize to achieve their goals. Strategic management is a broad range of processes and activities used by organizations in coordination and aligning resources and actions with strategy, vision, and mission to achieve organizational goals (Balanced Scorecard Institute, n.d). In essence, a strategic management process changes a static plan into a system that offers feedback to decision-making and makes the plan grow along with the changes in other circumstances. In its turn, strategic thinking is the understanding, identifying, and imaging plausible and possible alternative future outlook of the organization, and utilizing the gained knowledge to strengthen one’s thinking regarding prospective options.
The options are then used to put the organization in the external environment in the future to make more informed decisions concerning what actions to take (Dionision, 2017). In regards to strategic planning, it may be defined as a management process utilized in setting priorities in the organization, and mobilizing resources and energy to ensure that stakeholders work towards organizational goals as well as assess and adjust the direction of the organization to fit the changing environment. Managing strategic momentum entails coordination of the organization’s external environment with the internal environment to ensure that the implementation plan is continually implemented (Schneider, 2020). This process features an evaluation of the organization and the environment. Therefore, strategic thinking, strategic planning, and managing strategic momentum are processes that help in achieving organizational strategies.
Analytical tools are important in a strategic plan as they help determine if the organization is on the right track as per the needs of the plan. A strategic plan features such aspects as dates for attaining the objectives, target performance, and baseline performance. Consequently, an analytical tool is essential in measuring the plan’s performance. Without measuring, the stakeholders of the plan may not know whether the objectives outlined in the plan are being achieved. In case most of the objectives are not being met, it is possible to implement some changes to correct previous errors and achieve the goal of the strategic plan. Several analytical tools can be used in healthcare to determine performance in a strategic plan. In the case of implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine on the Emory healthcare staff and providers the most effective tool is a dashboard.
In Emory healthcare, a goal can be set to minimize or eradicate COVID-19 infections among care providers and staff. According to Twohig et al. (2019), dashboards could guide program development and demonstrate the value of the program to the stakeholders.
The dashboard would display values of the number of staff and providers infected with the virus over a given period. In other words, the dashboard will be used to measure or track infection rates over time and set goals to minimize these rates. In this case, the dashboard will provide information regarding the number and identity of the staff and providers vaccinated after every week. At the same time, the dashboard will help track the infection rate among the unvaccinated staff and care providers. Goals will be set to reduce the number of infections among Emory employees. For example, the infection rate within the first month of the mandatory vaccination should be less than 10%. Then, the rate should decline to 5% by the end of the second month when most of the staff and providers would have received second dosses. By the end of the third month when most of the group would have received their third shots, the rate is expected to reduce to 1%. Finally, no staff and care providers are expected to be infected by the virus after the fifth month as everyone in the facility will have received all three shots of the vaccine.
Additionally, this tool will feature information concerning the number of dosses each staff and care provider has received after every month. The information will be used to determine those who have not received COVID-19 vaccine shots and the reasons for not being vaccinated within a given period. Then, it will be necessary to take disciplinary actions against those Emory employees who will not have been vaccinated within a given time. For example, by the end of the second month of the rollout of the mandatory vaccination program, all employees are expected to have received the vaccine’s first dose, therefore, any staff or care provider who will yet to receive the shot will be dismissed from the facility. The statement regarding the appeal process of the decision reached by the facility management will be given to the dismissed person.
Emory healthcare management has implemented a strategic plan to ensure all facility employees receive vaccination and protect themselves and patients against COVID-19 infection. Nonetheless, similarly to other healthcare facilities, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination processes has faced substantial barriers from within the facility and outside. Multiple internal and external factors could hamper the plan.
Internal Factors that Could Hamper the Strategic Plan
The staff and providers or other aspects within the organization cause internal factors. The internal factors include staff and care providers’ attitude toward the vaccine, their perceived degree of risk to the virus infection, and care providers and staff’s lack of connection to the strategy. The care providers and staff’s attitudes toward the vaccine could impede the mandatory vaccination strategic plan. Li et al. (2021) explain that perceived long-term side effects are among the concerns of COVID-19 vaccines among healthcare workers. The concern has been one of the major causes of vaccine uptake hesitancy among these workers. Numerous care providers believe that vaccines developed in an emergency have questionable safety guarantees. As such, some of the Emory employees are likely to avoid the vaccine since they may doubt its safety and impede the vaccination plan that aims to vaccinate all the staff and care providers. The perceived degree of risk to the virus infection also determines the healthcare worker’s acceptance rate of the vaccine (Angelo et al., 2013). In other words, care providers who believe that they are not at risk of contracting the virus may hesitate to receive vaccination and delay the plan. Finally, this strategy is likely to encounter challenges if major stakeholders, including providers and staff, are not involved in the process. Hence, if the employees are not interested in the vaccination, the strategic plan is likely to fail. Essentially, the staff and providers need to cooperate and work toward achieving the goal of the plan since otherwise the management may find it difficult to impose strategy on individuals not willing to adopt it.
External Factors as Obstacles to the Strategic Plan
External factors affecting the strategic plan are those that are beyond the control of the facility management. Some of these factors include influence from prominent personalities, conspiracy theories surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines, and the influence of mass media. Numerous prominent political leaders and media personalities have downplayed the need for vaccination. For instance, Donald Trump, the then US president, stated that Coronavirus is less harmful as compared to seasonal flue (Romer & Jamieson, 2020). At the same time, in accordance with one of the conspiracy theories, the virus is of artificial origin since the Chinese government created it. As Romer and Jamieson (2020) state, conspiracy theories have caused some people to ditch COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Finally, misinformation by mass media has made numerous individuals including care providers hesitant in terms of vaccines uptake. Therefore, these aspects may influence some staff and care providers and make them resist the adoption of the strategic plan.
There are solutions to counter the mentioned barriers and help the strategic plan to succeed. First, regarding the negative influence from prominent personalities, the management can advise employees to ignore other people and listen to the advice of healthcare professionals concerning COVID-19. Consequently, this action would block prominent personalities from influencing employees to hesitate taking vaccines. Second, the facility management can educate employees about the negative effects of conspiracy theories in healthcare and the origin of the virus in order to discourage employees from supporting such theories. Employees are likely to embrace vaccine uptake after learning that these theories have no scientific proof and need to be ignored, thus enabling the strategic plan to succeed. Finally, care providers and staff need to be advised to be selective on the mass media information they believe. Employees who take in advise that mass media is sometimes misleading will not support information that discourage them from getting vaccinated. Therefore, advising employees regarding this issue encourages them to ignore misinformation and embrace vaccination. As such, these solutions can help to discourage care providers and staff from the negative influence by media, prominent personalities, and conspiracy theories and encourage them to embrace vaccination, enabling the strategic plan to succeed.
This strategic plan targets Emory healthcare employees. The providers and staff need to be vaccinated and protected against COVID-19 infections since they are at high risk of contracting the virus. Proving the providers and staff of the facility with heard immunity against the virus is the primary goal of the plan. Therefore, the plan targets Emory staff and providers.
Several approaches can be used to market this strategic plan. However, the use of posters and the facility website to pass information to staff and providers is the most effective one. Posters that feature information regarding health threats caused by COVID-19 and the need to be vaccinated should be put on the facility notice boards. Additionally, the same information can be posted on the Emory healthcare website, urging the staff and care providers to embrace vaccination. As such, notice boards and website would enable all the management to pass information to the target audience.
Overall, Emory healthcare has a strategic plan that will assist in ensuring all its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. A dashboard will be used as an analytical tool to measure the performance of the strategy by tracking the vaccination rates among the employees. The influence of prominent personalities, conspiracy theories, and media is likely to create obstacles to the success of the strategic plan. However, advising the staff to ignore information regarding the vaccine from non-healthcare professionals and encouraging them to get vaccinated can help in countering these barriers. The target market segment for the plan is the Emory employees, therefore, using posters and the facility website to pass information to them is the most effective marketing approach. As such, Emory’s strategic plan would succeed if barriers are effectively countered.
Angelo, A. T., Alemayehu, D. S., & Dachew, A. M. (2021). Health care workers intention to accept COVID-19 vaccine and associated factors in southwestern Ethiopia, 2021. PloS one, 16(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0257109
Balanced Scorecard Institute. (n.d). Strategic planning basics. https://balancedscorecard.org/strategic-planning-basics/
Dionisio, M. A. (2017). Strategic thinking: The role in successful management. Journal of Management Research, 9(4), 44-57. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319242051_Strategic_Thinking_The_Role_in_Successful_Management
Emory University. (n.d.). Woodruff health sciences center. https://www.emory.edu/home/health/index.html
Li, M., Luo, Y., Watson, R., Zheng, Y., Ren, J., Tang, J., & Chen, Y. (2021). Healthcare workers’(HCWs) attitudes and related factors towards COVID-19 vaccination: A rapid systematic review. Postgraduate Medical Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2021-140195
Romer, D., & Jamieson, K. H. (2020). Conspiracy theories as barriers to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the US. Social Science & Medicine, 263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113356
Schneider, L. N. (2020). Strategic management as adaptation to changes in the ecosystems of public hospitals in Israel. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 9(1), 1-11. https://ijhpr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13584-020-00424-y
Twohig, P. A., Rivington, J. R., Gunzler, D., Daprano, J., & Margolius, D. (2019). Clinician dashboard views and improvement in preventative health outcome measures: A retrospective analysis. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4327-3