Successful Strategic Planning: The Board Role

Copyright 2009. From Governance for Health Care Providers by David B. Nash,William J. Oetgen, and Valerie P. Pracilio. Adapted with permission of Productivity Press, an imprint of CRC Press,Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


This monograph covers the basics of strategic planning, including definitions of common terms, a description of the planning process and the characteristics of successful plans. It describes the board’s role in planning, including why plans fail, common weaknesses and how boards can support successful plan implementation.

This publication is adapted from a chapter on strategic planning that originally appeared in Governance for Health Care Providers. Throughout, it highlights the unique contributions and perspectives of provider trustees, such as physicians, nurses and other health professionals, and how all trustees can work together to help turn successful plans into action.

The information contained here can be used in a variety of ways: as part of new board member orientation, as preparation for trustees who participate in their organization’s strategic planning process and as a resource for trustees who are members of or who desire to chair a board’s strategic planning committee. It also can be a valuable resource for a board and leadership retreat focused on identifying strategic issues or setting strategic direction or priorities.

In an era of health care reform, hospitals and boards that understand emerging issues and alternatives and engage in a systematic process to evaluate and plan for their impact are most likely to identify and capitalize on opportunities for success.The information and tools provided in this monograph can help equip hospital boards and leaders to achieve strategic advantage in a changing environment.

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