Pocahontas satellite clinic in Pocahontas County is possible. Market/SWOT

Pocahontas
Memorial Hospital (PMH) located in Pocahontas County, West Virginia is looking
into the feasibility of opening a satellite clinic. Implementing a satellite clinic
will help expand access to healthcare throughout the 8,700 residents currently
living there. This report will create an overview of PMH’s threats and
weaknesses, how to attract healthcare professionals and their strategic initiatives.
Doing so will help PMH determine if a satellite clinic in Pocahontas County is
possible.  

Market/SWOT Analysis
Threats and Weaknesses

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Before
PMH moves forward a market analysis will need to be conducted to determine the
feasibility of opening a satellite clinic. A market analysis is a quantitative
and qualitative assessment that takes a deeper look into the market. For PMH a
market analysis will look into the size of the market both volume and values,
customer segments, competition, and economic barriers. Competition is one of PMH’s
biggest threats that will appear in their market analysis.

 The population of Pocahontas County currently
stands at 8,700 and PMH is the only hospital that serves the rural community
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Although the community has a low population, PMH
still suffers from the number of patients they currently serve. This makes it difficult
for PMH to offer quality care to the community and puts a strain on their
employees. With PMH struggling this makes it difficult for them to compete
against their biggest competitor, Davis Memorial Hospital (DMH). Compared to
PMH, DMH is a larger healthcare facility that has the manpower to handle more
patients and offer quality care at lower costs. The satellite clinic will allow
PMH to attract more patients, recruit more providers, improve quality care, and
secure their market.

 

 

SWOT Analysis

In
order for PMH to implement a successful satellite clinic, they need to evaluate
their internal and external environments. SWOT analysis has become an inseparable
part of planning and practice (Borissov, 2015). A SWOT analysis will help stakeholders
and the board of directors determine if PMH is capable of opening a satellite
clinic. From there the information gathered from the SWOT analysis will be
incorporated into the strategic plans.

The
biggest weakness that PMH currently faces is the shortage of providers. Pocahontas
County is designated as a Health Professions Shortage Area and has very few
health care providers for its population (PMH Assessment, 2016). Residents throughout
Pocahontas County have also expressed their frustration due to the high turnover
rates for providers. This can make it difficult for patients to create a steady
relationship with their provider. Being the only hospital in Pocahontas County
and providing care to all the residents, will lead to providers being
overworked and burnt out.

If
PMH wants to improve their staffing shortage, they must recruit and retain staff.
Due to their rural environment, PMH faces challenges when it comes to recruiting
and maintaining healthcare professionals, making it difficult to provide proper
care. Therefore, PMH will need to be innovative and strategic on how they are
going to recruit and retain employees. With PMH’s plans to open a satellite
clinic, they will need to recruit more staff so current staff members do not
get overworked.

Recruiting Providers

Provider
recruitment is difficult in rural communities, and it continues to be a
problem. The lack of healthcare provider affects quality of care, delays in
healthcare, lack of patient education, and lack of specialty services. In order
for PMH to attract providers they need to offer certain advantages such as flexibility
and competitive compensation. Part-time schedules and other flexible schedules
are becoming popular with physicians. Although this may be difficult in rural
locations, PMH will still want to offer their providers some kind of flexibility.
Having a competitive salary will also help PMH attract providers. Rural facilities
often can demonstrate that the need in their area for the physician is high,
competition limited, and the financial potential relatively high, allowing for
competitive salary offers (Hawkins, 2016). Offering loan forgiveness and
housing allowance can also be attractive.

Feasibility of Satellite
Clinic

The
feasibility of PMH opening a satellite clinic in Pocahontas County will depend
on two main details: funding and staffing. Through strategic planning, opening
a satellite clinic in Pocahontas County can happen, if those goals are
completed. Of course, there are other important details that PMH will need to
address to make the satellite clinic a success. These include CMS regulations
and other healthcare reforms. However, following regulations will be an easier
challenge then recruiting and retaining staff members then locating the funds
for the clinic.

Value -Adding Strategy

A
value adding strategy is PMH going above and beyond for their patients, and
making them more than a standard practice. Tele-health medicine is commonly
used in many urban cities, but not very common in rural areas. Incorporating
tele health medicine will allow providers to spend more time with their patients,
and less time reading paperwork. Pre-appointment strategies is another great
way for PMH to go above and beyond for their patients. Pre-appointments will
allow patients to make appointments online and reserve a time that works best
for them. Providing patients clean and sanitary waiting rooms, space for
patients, spouses, children, and other family members can also help add value
to the clinic.

Strategic Initiatives

PMH’s
strategic initiative is to increase the availability of healthcare to residents
throughout Pocahontas County. To do this, PMH wants to implement a satellite
clinic. A strategic initiative helps identify the initiatives or strategies
that an organization wants to take to achieve a certain goal. The planning process
of a strategic initiative will allow PMH to focus on their strengths, such as high
patient satisfaction and their desire to bring a healthcare lifestyle to the
community. From there PMH will be able to move forward and overcome their threats
and weaknesses, such as competition, to make the clinic a success. Through their
strategic initiatives PMH wants to provide care to the community, provide job security
to their employees, and help the community overcome the health challenges they
currently have.

Conclusion

            Based upon the research, the
feasibility of opening a satellite clinic in Pocahontas County is very likely. However,
in order for PMH to make the clinic successful they will need to establish their
threats and weaknesses before they can create an impact on the clinic.
Attracting healthcare professionals is also essential because without having
the right amount of staff, patients will not be able to receive quality care. PMH
will also want to utilize value-adding strategies to attract more patients, and
make them stand out against their competitors.