With over 500 physicians and around 450 nurses, St. Louis Medical Center (SLMC) has been keeping the people of Summerville, Ironridge, and the general community of Chamberlain County, South Carolina healthy for over 50 years, making it a state-wide leader in the healthcare industry. To continue this dedication to the community, the Amelia Earhart Cardiac Wellness Program (AECWP) has been proposed, which will offer services such as medication therapy, health education, assessments of patients’ physical well-being, counseling and social support services, various types of exercise classes, and weight management. These programs are targeted towards patients that 65 and older, as the local area has seen cardiovascular disease increase dramatically for this demographic. Health statistics show over twenty heart disease cases for Summerville alone in 2013 (South Carolina Department, 2013).
Furthermore, this program is designed to address the overall needs of an entire person, rather than focusing on one particular ailment, including social support, such as depression counseling. Support staff for accomplishing all this include a medical director, a nurse practitioner, two registered nurses, two receptionists, a pharmacist, an exercise trainer, and a dietician, with prospects for hiring more for expanding the program looking positive. Therefore, what follows below is a proposed business plan for the AECWP, which includes the steps taken to make this business plan, how it aligns with this organizations mission and vision, the relative strengths and weaknesses, the throughput considerations, and marketing strategies.
Steps to Develop a Business Plan
This business plan involves several steps. First, was to gain a detailed understanding of the company. Questions such as what services do they provide, who are the target market, how much will the business cost to run, and what are the potential profits had to be answered. Research into these questions showed that the services being provided promote overall health and well-being including physical, mental, and emotional support. The target market for this is the 65 and older demographic as they are the most at risk. Preliminary analysis shows that operating costs for the first year will be under one million dollars. Potential profits are speculative, but the income data for the surrounding area shows are $75,000 per capita for Summersville and around $22,000 for Ironridge (South Carolina’s Information Highway, 2013), meaning that the center can easily charge enough to at least earn a modest net income, even though some of area is experiencing an economic decline. Moreover, the state government grant will go towards paying for the salaries and future growth of the center, making the finances sound.
Alignment with Organizational Mission and Vision
The mission for the center is to create a supportive and caring environment so that they can provide quality healthcare with a commitment to excellence and safety, as well as a dedication to ensuring the highest level of standards to promote increased quality of life. Their vision can be stated as striving to be a national leader in innovation and excellence in developing and delivering the best consumer-driven healthcare by treating patients as individual and creating healthcare experiences that are personalized to meet their unique needs. The addition of a wellness center will certainly help achieve these goals, as the wellness center is focused on providing the highest possible care for the largest amount of people.
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the strengths of the wellness center is the variety of services it will provide to its patients. While the focus is on older patients with heart problems, it also provides services that will help them achieve a higher quality of life in general. With professional staff from many disciplines on the premises, patients have access to a wider body of knowledge provided by other hospitals and wellness centers. Furthermore, another strength of the above plan is that the funding is largely taken care of, as it comes from grants. This means that the wellness center does not need to be focused on making a profit and can focus providing better quality care.
However, some problems might exist. One such problem is that the prevalence of heart disease is growing as the general population is living longer and as a variety of other problems such as diet and sedentary lifestyles are deteriorating general health. This may lead to more patients than the center can handle, and the funding grants may not be able to keep up with new expenses for more staff and infrastructure expansion.
One important concern for organizations in the healthcare industry is the amount of patients going through their system, also known as their throughput. It is in the best interest of the organization to have as many people as possible going through, as this not only increases the amount of people being helping, but it also affects their profit margin. As of now, profit is of little concern for the wellness center, but the important concern of reaching maximum throughput while maintaining standards of quality still remains. “Any attempt to increase speed by increasing demand for throughput increases intra-operative stress and puts quality at risk” (Litvak et al., 2006). That is, it will be difficult to maintain the quality guaranteed in the mission and vision by increasing the throughput. However, throughput can be increased by focusing on keeping the staff to a minimum, reducing the amount spent on supplies, eliminating unnecessary expenses, and in general focusing on cost efficiency. In other words, making the center run as smoothly and as cheaply as possible will allow for the most people to pass through the system and be treated.
The target market has already been identified as the patients that are 65 and older and are suffering from some form of cardiac disease. Therefore, the marketing strategy should focus its efforts on advertising in venues and publications that this demographic is known to visit and read. Publications such as the AARP newsletter is widely read by this demographic and should include an ad informing them of the high-quality care and the wide range of services offered by the center. Furthermore, local TV ads have been known to work. Therefore, local TV stations can run a short, simple ad that showcases the various professionals that will be on staff as well as the level of treatment they will receive. Local businesses can also be utilized. Places that this demographic are known to frequent, such as certain restaurants, can have flyers, businesses cards, etc., to entice them to come to the center. Overall, because the area is not that heavily populated, the best marketing will ultimately be word of mouth.
In conclusion, the AECWP will be able to increase the high quality of care the SLMC already provides to the towns of Summerville and Ironridge, as well as the surrounding Chamberlain County in South Carolina. Due to grants provided by the state, from Earhart herself, and from others, the center will be fully funded for the first year, including staff and facilities, which will allow it to focus on meeting the promises made in its vision and mission statements. Also, with the throughput considerations and marketing strategies, the success of the center seems bright.
- Litvak, E., Prenney, B., Fuda, K., Long, M., Levtzion-Korach, O., & McGlinchey, P. (2006). Improving Patient Flow and Throughput in California Hospitals Operating Room Services. California HealthCare Foundation.
- South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). (2013). Public health statistics and information services. Retrieved from https://www.scdhec.gov/co/phsis/biostatistics/index.asp?page=pubreps
- South Carolina’s Information Highway (SCIWAY). (2013). South Carolina– Fast facts. Retrieved from http://www.sciway.net/facts/