The Signature Assignment is designed as a final project capping off your learning and comprehension of the course. Using the concepts and framework of strategic planning and management, you will perform an environmental analysis, assess strategic priorities and develop appropriate strategies and an action plan for a healthcare organization.
Strategy is about making choices and evaluating trade-offs. Healthcare organizations operate in a very diverse environment, serving culturally diverse customers/patients and employing just as culturally diverse a workforce. What is “right” for one organization may not be right for another. Making the “right” choice and trade-offs is a challenge that healthcare administrators routinely have to undertake.
The final product of the Signature Assignment is a strategic plan with an executive summary, environmental analysis, strategic goals, objectives, measurements and an action plan.
There are three (3) parts of the Signature Assignment:
•Part I – Due Week 4 (for this you only need to do part 1)
•Part II – Due Week 8
Part III – Due Week 8
Case–Build It and They Will Come?
Mid-Atlantic Nursing Center (MANC) is an assisted living facility and nursing home in the Mid-Atlantic area. It also provides home healthcare to clients who prefer a home environment. The company bought two facilities a couple of years ago and spent the last two years focusing on its operations and the integration of the two new facilities. With the new addition, it now has two facilities in northern Virginia and one facility in suburban Maryland, which comprise part of the Virginia – Washington D.C. – Maryland Metro area. The company does not just focus on technical knowledge and skills when it hires people; MANC makes it a priority to hire people who are a good fit with its culture and structure. As a result, it has a stable workforce with a low turnover rate. With its steady operations and financial performance, it is now ready to enter another expansion phase.
Mary Ann Lewis, the CEO of the company, had a meeting earlier today with a benefactor, Mr. James Nguyen, who is interested in making an endowment in his mother’s memory. Mrs. Nguyen was a patient with Alzheimer’s who was receiving home healthcare from Mid-Atlantic Nursing Center before she passed away a few months ago. Mr. Nguyen is considering making an endowment to a healthcare facility and MANC is at the top of his short list. In exchange for an endowment to MANC, he would like MANC to open a facility to care for Vietnamese elderly people who have unique needs.
Mary Ann Lewis has come in contact with some Vietnamese and knows that they are a very tight-knitcommunity. Adult children often take care of their aging parents at home. Nursing homes carry a stigma and many Vietnamese consider them a place for people who are “abandoned” by family. Older Vietnamese often have limited English and the language barrier keeps them close to home. Working-age Vietnamese Americans who have full-time jobs and a family of their own find it challenging to care for their aging parents at home. Many cannot afford to hire a home health aide to care for their parents around the clock at home. While their parents reject the idea of being cared for in a facility by peoplewhom they do not understand, young Vietnamese Americans are more open to the idea of having their parents cared for in a nursing home by professionals.
Mr. Nguyen expressed a strong desire to help bridge the gap in caring for Vietnamese elderly people by providing them an environment close to a community that they are familiar with, with caregivers speaking their language. He is grateful for the care his mother received at home but knows that many Vietnamese elderly people cannot afford having the personal home healthcare service that his mother had. Being a businessman, he wants to make sure that the model is sustainable and that it is the right decision to make an endowment to MANC instead of the hospital where his mother received care throughout the years.
He has asked Mary Ann Lewis to draft a strategic plan and action plan to share with him when they meet again next month. Based on the strategic plan and action plan, he will consider an amount sufficient to fund this new service.
Mary Ann is excited with this potential opportunity to expand the service to a section of the population that has a unique need. As a home health nurse practitioner, she understands that social determinants of health play a crucial role in people’s quality of health and life. Culture, lifestyle, language, education and socio-economic status all play parts in how people seek and receive care, how they manage their care at home and how family/community plays a role in their health.
Despite of the fact that theVirginia – Washington D.C. – Maryland Metro area has the fifth largest Vietnamese population among U.S. Metropolitan areas, there are currently no nursing homes in the immediate northern Virginia and suburban Maryland area that cater to the Vietnamese population. Entering a niche market would differentiate the company’s services and help it attract a subset of the population. Given that there is a larger Vietnamese community in northern Virginia, most notably Fairfax, Alexandria and Arlington counties, a small Vietnamese center could be open in one of these counties as a pilot. If this business model goes well, the company can replicate it with other subsets of the population, providing truly customized and personal care that these patients cannot find anywhere else. Having a benefactor who provides initial financial support to roll out this new service is an opportunity just too good to pass up.
On the other hand, Mary Ann Lewis is apprehensive about this new direction. Her company has not entered a niche market and there are unknowns and uncertainty facing her company. Specifically, what is the law and regulation on offering services to a specific group that may exclude others? Is there enough demand for the Vietnamese niche market? Younger Vietnamese Americans may be open to the idea but what if their parents resist it despite her company’s best efforts to customize and personalize the care environment? How will this niche service fit in with the rest of the services that MANC provides?
In addition, she also understands that adding this niche service will require her to hire new staff with specific skills, design programs that meet specific cultural and social needs, build partnerships with Vietnamese communities as the service takes off, and customize her marketing content to have both English and Vietnamese languages in order to reach the adult children and directly target the elderly parents, respectively. Being a healthcare administrator who also has a clinical background as a home health nurse practitioner, Mary Ann is confident that she can lead her team through this exciting challenge. Nonetheless, she is aware that MANC’s organizational capability and resources will need to change to support this new service. She also needs an outside advisor who knows the Vietnamese community well to guide her through the process.
She wonders out loud, “ Is this a case of ‘Build it and they will come?’ or will this strategy be too risky as it is based on a subgroup that does not look fondly on the concept of a “home outside of their home?”
PART I (Due week four)
Submit ONE document that includes:
This week you will read the case and submit ONE document that includes the following:.
- Executive Summary (Page 1)
- A summary of background, issues, analysis, and main strategic goals/objectives
- Environmental Analysis (Pages 2–3)
- External environmental analysis (PESTLE, SWOT, Porter’s five forces as appropriate)
- Internal environmental analysis (organizational capacity and resources, culture and structure, etc.)
- References section (Page 4)
Research must include a minimum of three credible sources such as those from the government, think tanks, consulting or research firms, academic institutions, or corporations (public financial statements, company brochures and catalogs, corporate website information). Sources from mainstream media (e.g. news outlets) or Wikipedia are not acceptable.