SecureNetMD.com has over 9 years of experience in delivering IT services to rural healthcare providers in the US. This experience has led to the accumulation of a rich wealth of knowledge in the identification of IT-related problems and solutions in the rural healthcare system. This experience has been developed consistently with its mission of ensuring improved care delivery to rural communities through easy accessibility of information among the partnering healthcare providers in rural communities. After conducting a SWOT analysis of the organization, this strategy development paper concludes that the company has the capability of leveraging its strengths and opportunities to limit failures associated with its weaknesses and threats. This goal can be achieved through the deployment of strategic leadership techniques in leading work teams, including decision-making processes. From the perspective of an IT healthcare service provider, SecureNetMD.com should use market penetration and development strategies in establishing new markets and/or exploiting the existing ones as the recommended strategies in its 3-5-year business development strategy.
All businesses, irrespective of the nature of products or services they deal with, need to develop an effective business plan to secure short-term and long-term success. Such a plan helps in tracking progress, including planning for future growth. Plans that focus on one year or less are short-term and hence not suitable for any scheduled long-term performance. Indeed, commercial institutions and other support business organizations require a five-year business development strategy in making their decisions to lead any financial support to any business entity. This paper focuses on a 3-5-year plan for SecureNetMD.com.
The business elevator pitch lays a mechanism for helping to articulate SecureNetMD.com’s business to its customers. The company exclusively focuses on healthcare IT services. Over the last 9 years, it has gained a deep understanding of the challenges, solutions, and opportunities for rural healthcare systems. This elevator pitch ensures that employees do not miss the opportunity of making tons of sales and/or acquiring new openings due to the failure to communicate the company’s brand in a clear and concise manner, especially clients who may be looking for experienced healthcare IT service providers.
Mission and Vision
The mission of SecureNetMD.com is to improve healthcare through the provision of IT service to care providers in rural communities through strategic partnerships. To highlight its commitment to this mission as a HIPAA-compliant Managed Care IT service provider, the company has established successful partnerships with several rural healthcare systems, including the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, the Union Hospital, Beebe, Bayhealth, and Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Consistent with the mission of the organization, its vision should be to deploy its expertise while at the same time partnering with best-in-class healthcare providers within its market reach and beyond with the objective of delivering optimal and reliable IT care services.
A SWOT analysis helps in the identification of strengths, limitations, prospects, and intimidation of an organization. SecureNetMD.com has the strength of having 9 years of experience in rural healthcare IT. Hence, it is highly cognizant of potential key predictors of success and failure in the IT healthcare market. To realize successful performance in its line of business while complying with HIPAA, SecureNetMD.com must work in partnership with other rural healthcare organizations. To this extent, the business entity has the strength of having established working partnerships with the top healthcare system in the region.
Despite enjoying the above strengths, SecureNetMD.com has the weakness of lacking a clearly defined “go-to-market” strategy. The company also has not established many relationships in its various new markets. This situation limits the application of new market penetration as a growth strategy. However, the opportunities of having rural healthcare IT as the company’s sweet spot and the current existence of the Federal e-rate program for rural healthcare projects indicates the likelihood of the company’s future success in its current market niche.
SecureNetMD.com experiences threats that may potentially hinder its success if its strengths and opportunities are not leveraged to overcome the prevailing pressure. Indeed, large healthcare support companies such as Cerner have more resources. Therefore, they can easily mobilize their resources to achieve higher economies of scale to the extent of leading to higher healthcare savings to attract more clientele. Other large healthcare systems are buying up small clinics. This plan limits the probability of SecureNetMD.com striking deals with such clinics to help in expanding its business empire.
Goals and Objectives
SecureNetMD.com seeks to become a leading healthcare IT service provider within its niche market and beyond. Its goal is to function as a bridge or enabler of partnering healthcare networks to acquire efficiency, increase their access, coordination, and/or improve the quality of their care services while cutting their operational costs. This case has the impact of ensuring that all partnering care organizations deliver and/or optimize the rural care network as a whole.
A company’s objectives offer a detailed description of the needs and want that it targets to achieve. For SecureNetMD.com, the objectives encompass a more detailed description of its mission of improving rural healthcare by providing IT services to the partnering rural healthcare organizations. To this extent, the first objective of the company involves providing customized services to suit the needs of each partnering organization. Secondly, to achieve its mission, SecureNetMD.com has the objective of enhancing the relationship between its partners and the rural communities through promoting their participation and involvement in the care networks. To satisfy this objective, SecureNetMD.com identifies the existing opportunities in the network, which can help in addressing the local health needs of the populations served by the partnering healthcare organizations.
A successful sharing of healthcare information requires a means of ensuring network connectivity, including a platform for accessing healthcare information in the SecureNetMD.com IT infrastructure. This plan is important in rural healthcare systems. Consequently, the company has the objective of identifying various strategies that can further help in leveraging broadband connectivity that is critical in supporting technologies for applications that are deployed in supporting its management tasks and/or the sharing of healthcare information in rural community settings. This objective is achieved through the development of partnerships with entities that facilitate the leveraging of broadband funding via federal institutions such as the Communication Commission for the Program of Healthcare Connect.
Key Performance Indicators
Performing businesses need to develop an understanding of KPIs and metrics. Tracking the KPIs provides information on the business performance and the necessary adjustments required to achieve the preset goals. The basic KPI for SecureNetMD.com is traffic flow through its IT infrastructure. High traffic of up-to-the-design capacity accompanied by the satisfaction of the infrastructure’s users in terms of the quality of service delivered in helping to optimize care delivery through the partnering Managed Care organizations is a clear proof of high performance. Where a decline in performance is noted, redesigning the infrastructure to increase user-friendliness and compliance with the performance requirements of healthcare information management systems, including confidentiality, is always evaluated and monitored.
The company partners with rural health care organizations that have Managed Care enrollees. The Managed Care plan was created to curb the escalating costs of medical care under the ‘fee for service’ healthcare system. Therefore, SecureNetMD.com targets customers who seek to reduce the cost of healthcare. The company remains committed to providing IT healthcare services to customers who focus on ensuring that their healthcare cost remains low without compromising the quality of the care delivered. Under the operations strategy of Managed Care, this goal is achieved by contracting different care providers coupled with referring enrolled members to facilitate the accessibility to services at discounted costs. Hence, the care is most appropriate for employers and individuals who are unwilling or incapable of paying exorbitant fees for healthcare. This situation is witnessed for rural healthcare service seekers, which SecureNetMD.com targets.
People who are enrolled in the Managed Care plan have a readily accessible network of care providers. The company only targets collaborating with professionals coupled with healthcare facilities, which have undergone intensive vigorous accreditation for people who have enrolled for Managed Care to access quality care at cost-effective rates. In fact, the professionals and healthcare facilities that form networks for a given healthcare plan have their credentials coupled with their experiences proven through careful analysis to ensure they possess the innate capacity to deliver quality care to all enrolled members. Therefore, customers who collaborate with SecureNetMD.com rest assured of optimal care upon consulting with primary physicians when a medical need arises.
Organizational Teams Leadership Strategy
SecureNetMD.com’s managerial structure is hierarchical with three directors, sales and procurement managers, and financial and HR directors. It deploys the strategic management strategy, which entails a group of continuous activities and comprehensive processes that organizations use to organize and align resources systematically (Dess, Lumpkin, & Taylor, 2005). Through this strategy, SecureNetMD.com aligns its leadership activities with the organization’s mission, vision, and plans. Through strategic management, the company acquires a mechanism for changing static plans into strategic performance outcomes to attain productive decisions that can enable business strategies to develop gradually as requirements and situations change. Indeed, strategic management provides an avenue for probable organizational growth by creating an effective mechanism for analyzing SecureNetMD.com’s strategic goals, which include its vision, mission, and objectives alongside the analysis of the organization’s internal and external environment.
From the viewpoint of a Rural Healthcare IT provider, SecureNetMD.com expects huge market success for its product. This success can be predicted from the increasing positive reception and implementation of electronic health records and medical information-sharing systems in the US and the global context. This outcome has been facilitated by the growing necessity for developing ways of enhancing the speed of accessing patients’ historical medical records, for instance, the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system.
EHR encompasses patient-centered information systems, which facilitate the collection, storage, and secure sharing of medical history with the permission of the patients among care providers. Information carried by EHR systems includes patients’ medical history, the date of immunization, all laboratory results for all tests that patients have undergone, information on allergies, diagnosis, various treatment plans, and medications that the patients have received over their lifetime. To meet these needs in rural settings, SecureNetMD.com remains committed to developing IT healthcare support systems that could foster prompt accessibility of information, provide safe storage of updated patients’ data, and/or guarantee the accuracy of the data stored in the systems.
The US and Canada exhibited low levels of adopting EHR by 2000. Kavilanz (2011) reveals that the US only used EHRs in its 20% medical facilities and 5% in clinics. This number was even less in Canada. However, currently, many of the hospitals in Canada, the US, and even in Asia in nations such as Korea and India have already implemented EHRs. Australia has also implemented its version of EHRs, namely, the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR), which was later renamed My Health Record. Hence, embracing health records and IT support applications for sharing patients’ information helps to facilitate the access of patients’ information among healthcare practitioners.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reveals how the number of hospitals adopting EHRs increased from 9% in 2008 to more than 80% by 2013 (Newhook, 2014). This achievement was possible through incentives such as the allocation of 24.3 billion US dollars in promoting and funding information technology initiatives in the US healthcare sector (Newhook, 2014). The availability of patients’ health records in online platforms attracts ethical concerns of confidentiality. In response to this concern that may jeopardize the success of SecureNetMD.com, the US has established standards for information technologies that seek to ensure that medical practitioners do not share patients’ medical information insecurely. SecureNetMD.com is highly compliant with the guidelines for its success not to be affected by any ethical concerns while using its IT health infrastructure.
Organizations have different strategies at their disposal for securing future growth. SecureNetMD.com considers five potential mechanisms for ensuring intensive growth to help in securing long-term competitive advantage. The mechanisms include market penetration, market development, alternative channels, product development, and the development of new products for different customer segments. The best strategy is the one that ensures higher results, minimal risks, and low effort input. Since the target market is not yet saturated, SecureNetMD.com can only utilize the first two strategies in the next 3 to 5 years.
Under the strategy of market penetration, the company focuses on hosting and providing IT health support services to every client for the rural communities served by its partnering healthcare organizations. Considering that some potential competitors such as Cerner already have capabilities to safe economies of scale, market development is an important strategy for securing continuous success in the coming 3-to 5 years. For example, through this strategy, the company has identified Asheville North Carolina as a new market for its products. The region meets the critical standards for evaluating new markets that are deployed by SecureNetMD.com. It has 30% of the population is 55+ years. The population has imbalanced healthcare college graduates and IT graduates who are less than 1 million.
After identifying a new market, the next step entails developing an entry strategy. To enter a new market, SecureNetMD.com conducts local HIPAA awareness training for one week in a new market. It also joins memberships such as http://coruralhealth.org/membership-2 among others. The company also develops partnerships that have helped it to obtain speaking venues and email marketing lists.
SecureNetMD.com has already secured partnerships with organizations that provide rural healthcare services. With the increasing need for IT infrastructure to support healthcare records and medical information sharing, the company believes that it can provide such services reliably and dependably to Managed Care Organizations that operate in rural settings. Although competition from large well-established support providers such as Cerner cannot be ignored, SecureNetMD.com’s 9-year experience in providing IT support services to healthcare services is a major indicator of its capability to identify problems and/or provide amicable solutions in the IT field.
Dess, G., Lumpkin, G., & Taylor, M. (2005). Strategic management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Kavilanz, P. (2011). Healthcare reform stands: How it impacts employers. Journal of Health Politics, 13(2), 113-119.
Newhook, E. (2014). The past, present and future of electronic health records (EHRs). Web.