Strategic Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation Processes in Hospital Systems: A Survey From Iran

  •  Jamil Sadeghifar    
  •  Mehdi Jafari    
  •  Shahram Tofighi    
  •  Hamid Ravaghi    
  •  Mohammad Reza Maleki    


Aim & Background: Strategic planning has been presented as an important management practice. However, evidence of its deployment in healthcare systems in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. This study investigated the strategic management process in Iranian hospitals.

Methods: The present study was accomplished in 24 teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran from September 2012 to March 2013. The data collection instrument was a questionnaire including 130 items. This questionnaire measured the situation of formulation, implementation, and evaluation of strategic plan as well as the requirements, facilitators, and its benefits in the studied hospitals.

Results: All the investigated hospitals had a strategic plan. The obtained percentages for the items “the rate of the compliance to requirements” and “the quantity of planning facilitators” (68.75%), attention to the stakeholder participation in the planning (55.74%), attention to the planning components (62.22%), the status of evaluating strategic plan (59.94%) and the benefits of strategic planning for hospitals (65.15%) were in the medium limit. However, the status of implementation of the strategic plan (53.71%) was found to be weak. Significant statistical correlations were observed between the incentive for developing strategic plan and status of evaluating phase (P=0.04), and between status of implementation phase and having a documented strategic plan (P=0.03).

Conclusion: According to the results, it seems that absence of appropriate internal incentive for formulating and implementing strategies led more hospitals to start formulation strategic planning in accordance with the legal requirements of Ministry of Health. Consequently, even though all the investigated hospital had the documented strategic plan, the plan has not been implemented efficiently and valid evaluation of results is yet to be achieved.

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