Current Environmental Analysis

Prepare a 5-7 page environmental analysis of a health care organization addressing both the external and internal environments.

Introduction

Note: Each assessment in this course builds upon the work you have completed in previous assessments. Therefore, you must complete the assessments in the order in which they are presented.

Health care organizations have embraced strategic management and have developed unique processes for their industry. Health care leaders have found that strategic thinking, planning, and managing strategic momentum are essential for coping with the health care industry’s dynamics. Strategic management has become the single clearest demonstration of effective leadership in health care organizations.

Health care organization leaders need to understand the external environment in which they operate. Additionally, they need to anticipate and respond to the significant shifts taking place within that environment. An organization engages in service area competitor analysis to:

  • Determine the geographic service area.
  • Analyze the competitors within that service area for strengths and vulnerabilities.
  • Assess the impact of its strategic actions against specific competitors.
  • Anticipate potential actions a competitor might make that would endanger the organization’s market position.

Analyzing competitors assists organizations in identifying their competitive advantage, the basis on which they are willing to compete with anyone.

Additionally, evaluating the organization’s internal environment is also critical. This requires evaluating functional areas such as clinical operations, information systems, marketing, clinical support, human resources, financial administration, and others. In an internal environmental analysis, leaders carefully examine each function or organizational subsystem and then develop and analyze a list of strengths and weaknesses for each. This approach has been successful in some cases; however, an internal environmental analysis alone does not adequately address strategic issues.

The first assessment will focus on performing an environmental analysis of a health care organization. An environmental analysis enables the organization to identify current challenges and opportunities in preparation for future strategic planning and goal identification. Insightful diagnosis of a company’s external and internal environments is a prerequisite for managers to succeed in crafting a strategy that is an excellent fit within the company’s operations. These evaluations assist the organization in fostering alternative strategies and business models that culminate in leadership choosing a specific strategy.

Demonstration of Proficiency

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze organizational structure, design, culture, and climate in relation to environmental forces.
    • Analyze a health care organization’s external and internal environment.
    • Identify key industry structural features determining the forces governing competition.
  • Competency 3: Recommend an organizational structure and design to optimize a strategic plan.
    • Evaluate a health care organization’s directional strategy.
  • Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for professionals in health care administration.
    • Write a clear, concise, well-organized, professional, and generally error-free environmental analysis that supports conclusions with relevant evidence.
    • Follow current APA formatting and style guidelines for citations and references.

Note: Complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented. You will make use of this analysis in the next assessment.

Preparation

For this assessment, you will perform an environmental analysis for a health care organization. To accomplish this, you need to select a health care organization. This may be an organization where you currently work, a place where you want to work, or an organization about which you would like to learn more. You may select one from any of these sectors, or you may select a sector not listed here that directly reflects your career plans:

  • Long-term care.
  • Mid-sized facility.
  • Behavioral health hospital.
  • Large urban hospital.
  • Small rural hospital.
  • Freestanding facility.
  • Telehealth organization.
  • Government/military.
  • Integrated delivery network (IDN).

Make your selection carefully. If you choose your own organization, it will be easier to obtain the kind of information you need to complete the assessment. If you do not select your own organization, you might want to consider a larger health care provider (for example, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente, UnitedHealth Group, or Blue Cross Blue Shield) that publishes the organization’s directional strategy. You may also select a type of organization from the provided list, but recognize you will still be expected to gather marketing information, benchmark data, financial summaries, and other relevant information.

In addition, you may wish to review the assessment instructions and scoring guide to ensure that you understand the work you will be asked to complete.

Note: As you revise your writing, check out the resources listed on the Writing Center’s Writing Support page.

Scenario

Your manager is responsible for updating the organization’s strategic plan. She has asked you to do some of the legwork and complete an environmental analysis. This analysis will help your organization scan the external and internal environments and identify current challenges and opportunities that will enable it to prepare for the future.

Requirements

Analyze your selected organization’s external and internal environments. The MHA Program Library Guide can help direct your research. The Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked in the navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to support you.

You may use any contemporary environmental analysis tool included in the strategic management planning process to conduct your analysis. Examples include PESTLE analysis, Michael Porter’s 5 Forces model, and Levels of Competition model.

Remember, your analysis must address both your selected organization’s external and internal environments. In addition, your analysis must include all of the elements listed below.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS REQUIREMENTS

The requirements, outlined below, correspond to the grading criteria in the Current Environmental Analysis Scoring Guide, so be sure to address each point. Read the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.

  • Evaluate the organization’s directional strategy, as reflected in its vision, mission, and values.
  • Identify key industry structural features determining the forces governing competition.
  • Write a clear, concise, well-organized, professional, and generally error-free environmental analysis that supports conclusions with relevant evidence.
  • Follow current APA formatting and style guidelines for citations and references.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Length: 5–7 double-spaced, typed pages. The goal is to focus on applying new concepts and gaining new insights. Keep it brief and substantive.
    • Note: Feel free to construct images/diagrams, such as PESTL tables, to summarize information where appropriate and to highlight key information.
  • Formatting: Narrative can be written in a memo or white paper format since these are used in the health care workplace. Format citations according to current APA style and formatting guidelines, including a works cited page.
  • Number of sources: Use a minimum of six current, scholarly, and authoritative sources to support your analysis.
  • Scoring guide: Be sure to review this assessment’s scoring guide to understand how your faculty member will evaluate your work.

Proofread your document before you submit it to minimize errors that could distract readers and make it more difficult for them to focus on the substance of your analysis.

Portfolio Prompt: You may choose to save your environmental analysis to your ePortfolio.

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