How could the health care manager integrate SWOT analysis in the various types of plan? Do you think that SWOT analysis is best for a certain type of planning or could it be used in all kinds of planning? Support your response with examples       

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SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is an analytical business model that is so universal and embracing that it certainly could fit any action plan for continuous improvement, which is the ultimate goal of a business: to reach its fullest potential continuously as the times continue to change equally as well.

Health care management, follows a very similar business model as any other organization in that it has to incorporate partners, clients, supplies, demands, fiscal budget, revenues, customer services, and human resources.  In the case of health care management, the added responsibility of insurance and hazard safety is what delineates it from the typical model. Yet, if you break down every one of these factors and create an action plan, a health care business can succeed using this type of analysis. 

For example: Customer service. 

An action plan where a health care business vies for optimizing customer service would fall perfectly under the SWOT model. I will use as an example the Acute Care facility that is closest to my street, based on what I can observe empirically when the times become more hectic.

Strengths: The clinic has enough in-processing staff to sign in customers quickly and avoid waiting in line. A total of 6 terminals are open for check-in, and the receptionists can pass the client charts to the next department quicker since the entries are consistently coming in. 

Weaknesses: Although fast, the in-processing staff is not organized enough to have a system in place. The client list and files are put in the same place, rather than each terminal having their own pile from where to pull out the next client. This ends up in clients who sign up first being called third, or even last, in a specific period of time.

Opportunities: The in-processing staff can meet and decide for a better way to compile the clients as they sign in for services. There could be a multi-level organizer where the clients forms are placed as the client comes. Then, such organizer can be re-named "in-processing" and the next group to take over the files will have a common place to get the information as it comes. That is a growth opportunity that is cost-effective and all it takes is a small talk to put things in perspective.

Threats: In this case the only threat would be for one person to not follow the new rules, or for someone to refuse to comply. Yet, as a team, all have to buy into it in one form or another. 

As you can see SWOT can be used for big and small analysis. It can even be used as a quick check for quality purposes as well as a pre-mediation plan to assess a potential new intervention.

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