Strategic planning in healthcare: The key to clinic expansion

If you run a healthcare clinic, you want to be able to help as many people as possible along their health and wellness journey. That means continuously working toward growing your clinic with larger buildings, a wider variety of available treatments and more locations. But clinic expansion is a process that requires strategic planning.

Strategic planning in healthcare is all about looking at where your clinic is now, where you hope to be in the long run and the steps needed to get there. It keeps you on track of your goals for clinic expansion without letting patient care fall by the wayside.

We’ll talk about the basics of strategic planning in healthcare. Then we’ll discuss what’s involved in strategic planning for clinic expansion before diving into specific examples.

What is strategic planning in healthcare?

Let’s start off with the basics. Strategic planning is the organizational process of a company defining its direction by determining the actions needed for initiatives and long-term goals. If we look at what strategic planning means in terms of the healthcare industry, it’s about ensuring that you can make the decisions needed to reach your clinic’s goals as the industry changes and evolves while keeping your patient care at the forefront. For marketing in healthcare, strategic planning means having a plan that drives engagement before your clinic doors even open. 

Strategic planning in healthcare provides many benefits that can help improve your patient care and grow your clinic, including:

  • Setting a clear-cut vision.
  • Acknowledging strengths and weaknesses in care.
  • Homing in on critical issues.
  • Improving communication between all stakeholders.
  • Adapting to changes in the healthcare field.
  • Having criteria to track progress.

What to include in strategic planning for clinic expansion

Strategic planning is essential for clinic expansion because it helps you determine the steps that you need to take to reach that goal while anticipating roadblocks and not compromising the quality of care that your patients currently depend on.

In healthcare, strategic planning for your clinic expansion involves:

  • Laying out your clinic’s vision and mission that should be supported with every decision.
  • Designing an action plan for the clinic’s expansion, including objectives, measurable outcomes and a realistic timeline.
  • Sharing the strategic plan with everyone involved in your clinic to ensure that they’re all on the same page.
  • Properly allocating funds required to support the clinic expansion.
  • Tracking the progress and regularly returning to the plan to make adjustments when needed.

Examples of strategic planning in healthcare

Now that you’ve learned the basics of strategic planning, the benefits it can bring your clinic and what’s involved in the process, it’s time to get started. It can always be helpful to look at examples to use as a template for yours that you can then apply to your clinic’s specific circumstances.

Here are a couple of examples of strategic planning for fictional healthcare clinics that are trying to expand:

A physical therapy clinic has a strategic plan with the long-term goal to add three new treatments to their service list in the next three years. The plan includes hiring new therapists who are licensed in treatments that they don’t currently offer. It anticipates a course of action for roadblocks, such as the change in demand for a particular treatment. There are also initiatives to allocate space for new treatments by purchasing the neighboring building. 

A mental healthcare clinic makes a strategic plan with the long-term goal of offering virtual therapy by the end of the following year. The plan includes how to acquire the equipment required for virtual sessions, such as computers with high-quality cameras, by adjusting the budget in other departments. One of the initiatives is to launch a mobile app that patients can use to connect virtually with their therapists between sessions. This requires outsourcing to an app developer. The plan also discusses potential roadblocks, such as HIPAA compliance changes.

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