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Strategic Plan

Essay by review  •  March 2, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,470 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,904 Views

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Strategic Overview

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Strategy Overview

Pearce and Robinson describe strategic management as the art of making complex, long-term, future-oriented decisions and taking actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a company's objectives. The process focuses on the belief that a firm's mission can be best be achieved through a systematic and comprehensive assessment of both its internal capabilities and its external environment (Pearce & Robinson, 2005). In the article Strategic Management, the strategic management process is described as the implementation of the company's strategy by executive management considering its resources, circumstances, and environment to position the organization to complete is mission in a cost-effective, efficient manner. The corporate goals, policies, and tactics are incorporated into this process (Strategic Management, n.d.). This paper will concentrate on the initial stages of using the Strategic Management Process to create a strategic plan and will examine how AIM HealthCare Services, Inc. (AIM) has applied the process to their business. To accomplish this it is best to have a basic understanding of AIM.

AIM is a leading provider of claims cost management services and is a privately held company founded in Brentwood, Tennessee, June 1995. AIM's business is divided into two main components: on-site provider audits and system-based data reviews. The goal of each component is to identify and recover claims that are overpaid or prevent the payment of claims that lead to overpayments. Within these components, AIM focuses on hospital-based inpatient and outpatient, physician, pharmacy, home health, and other claims from a clinical and financial standpoint. Now that the basic function of AIM is understood the next step is to look at their mission statement.

Black's Law Dictionary defines "payor" as the person who is to make a payment and "payee" as the person who will receive a cash payment (Nolan and Connolly, 1979). AIM's mission is to reduce the cost of healthcare for payors in the public and private sectors by identifying, recovering, and preventing overpayments made to providers. To support this mission each division has created mission, vision and value statements to guide them. The mission statement for the Information Technology Division is as follows:

The Information Technology Department of AIM HealthCare Services, Inc. strives to provide superior information services to all supported associates and clients, delivering accurate and timely information in a professional and secure manner. We are committed to achieving competitive advantage and customer satisfaction through continual creative and effective application of current technology by collaboratively developing, maintaining and operating quality systems that meet the existing and anticipated information needs to all we serve (Employee Information, n.d., pg. 3).

McNamara (2005) criteria suggest in creating a mission statement, the company's markets, staff, and consumers must be considered. Likewise, a description setting it apart from other similar organizations is important. These criteria were adequate addressed in the AIM's current mission statement. However, improvement is needed to incorporate the values of customer, staff, and community. The public image of the company also needs review. Further, priorities of activities for company survival in a competitive market have not been addressed. The largest gap is insufficiently detailing crucial elements allowing staff the ability to prioritize how products and services should be rendered (McNamara, n.d.). The next element in the strategic process is the vision statement.

A vision statement needs to portray a visual image of the organization as it performs its functions. Updated vision statements should motivate staff toward working forward to the companies "preferred" values. AIM's vision statement is stated as "to reduce the cost of healthcare and simplify healthcare information management (Employee Information, n.d. pg. 3)." According to McNamara's standards, AIM's vision statement would benefit from a more detailed description to accomplish these goals (McNamara, n.d.). The next element in the process is the value statement.

The value statement needs to present the "true" values of the company as opposed to the preferred or idealistic values of the vision statement. Four to six values as they actually exist should be described. These values must incorporate the values of the customers, community, staff, and shareholders. Discrepancies between preferred values versus values actually practiced must be deciphered. Once discrepancies are identified, actions must be incorporated to align actual behavior with preferred behavior. The value statement for AIM is as follows:

We are all individuals, yet we realize that each contributes to the overall team's success. We seek to be well-rounded individuals. We each expect to be treated as professionals and turn are committed to presenting ourselves in a professional manner. We strive for a work ethic that is consistent with professional commitment while understanding the importance of balancing our career goals with personal goals (Employee Information, n.d.).

Utilizing McNamara's criteria, AIM's value statement sufficiently addressed personal values but needs improvement in addressing corporate practices (McNamara, n.d.).

After this author reviewed AIM's policies and interviewed management, it was determined that AIM does not currently have a comprehensive, updated Strategic Management Plan. To accomplish this AIM needs to establish a plan of action. The plan needs to be outlined in Microsoft Project and should take no longer than six weeks to complete. By establishing the project plan and developing a course of action, management improves the strategic planning process and enhances the success of the project. However, to maintain a balance, current projects and resources must not be significantly impinged upon in creating a Strategic Management Plan. Other considerations in planning are the organizations culture and leadership.

Key elements of organizational culture are the training, motivation, and performance of the workforce. Cundari and Quinney (2006) remind readers that the best strategies and savings initiatives are impotent

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