Breakthrough planning: Operationalizing a vision

Janet Beed


Heraclitus (540–486 BC) wrote: "There is nothing permanent except change." Change is not only certain, but in health care the pae has been accelerated tenfold. In the past, health care organizations have looked to business resources and literature to provide models for strategic planning. Strategic planning is a systematic approach to decision-making used by organizations to determine priorities and activities. In many organizations strategic plans have been well written but not implemented well.

The Patient Care Portfolio undertook a process of strategic planning. Within this process there was a typical review of strengths, weaknesses, internal and external impacts. However, the group discovered that the process was ineffective in helping us to change "the way we do our business", and therefore managing health care impact changes effectively.

New concepts experienced in the business field led us to re-think. The end result was a process that included values clarification, identification of four key breakthrough areas and the use of Hoshin planning to guide and operationalize our vision for oncology care.

Without a link between vision and the strategic plan, without a monitoring mechanism for determining how far we are in achieving the vision, an organization cannot be successful. There must be a strong association between vision, mission, what our business is and how we do our business.

The four key breakthrough areas are: Quality of life for staff and volunteers; quality of life for patients and families; leadership in oncology patient care, and leadership in the hospital. This presentation will focus on the development and operationalization of the breakthroughs and our vision for patient care.

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