An environmental analyze is the process of identifying the internal and external elements that can impact or alter the performance of an organization. An environmental analyze helps an organization evaluate different opportunities and threats that exist for the organization. These threats and opportunities are then assessed and incorporated into the organization’s decision making process in order to align the strategies with the internal and external environment of the organization (InvestorWords, 2017). An environmental analyze is important, as it helps organizations prepare for the future. The following discusses two different driving forces in the health care industry and how they can change the hospital system.
One of the largest driving forces in the health care industry is the new economics surrounding health care reform. The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010 by President Obama. Obamacare has resulted in several more American’s being insured throughout the country, increasing the amount of individual’s using the hospital system. Furthermore, since more of these individuals are insured, the hospital system received proper reimbursement for their services. In 2017, however, President Trump began seeking to eliminate Obamacare, which would ultimately result in fewer American’s having healthcare. The repeal of Obamacare would result in numerous changes for the healthcare system throughout the country. One of the largest differences President Trump seeks is for health insurance companies to be able to dictate how much an individual pays for healthcare based on their current health status, increasing the amount of money older and unhealthier individuals pay for healthcare. This would impact the hospital system because older and unhealthier individuals are the ones who most commonly use the hospital system. The higher premiums these individuals are forced to pay, the less likely they are to maintain or retain their health care insurance. However, these individuals will more than likely continue to use hospital resources, such as the emergency room. Thus, repealing Obamacare may cause unwanted financial issues for the current hospital system throughout the United States (Scott, 2017).

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Another large driving force in the health care industry is the technology that is transforming the industry. Technology advancements have a large impact on the health care industry, especially the hospital system. Digital strategies have caused hospitals to move beyond their website to other systems, such as social media sites, in order to engage and reach consumers, support patients, and facilitate workplace communication. While technology has allowed the hospital system to find new and innovative ways of reaching and helping consumers, it has also been a draw back for some hospital systems, especially hospitals with less financial stability. A comprehensive web, mobile and social capability, “integrated with clinical IT systems, such as EMR and patient portals, is no longer optional for organizations that want to remain relevant” (Corrigan, 2012). Thus, it is a requirement for hospital systems to utilize this type of technology in order to remain competitive in the health care industry (Corrigan, 2012).

It is important to realize how these external factors impact the healthcare system, especially the hospital system. The hospital system is most commonly used by older individuals. As mentioned above, repealing Obamacare under the current circumstances would ultimately allow insurance companies to increase the amount of money older individuals pay for health insurance. This has a direct impact on the hospital system. In the United States, there is a dramatic increase in the amount of people who are living to an older age, “challenging Americans of all ages as they cope with retirement funding, health care, lifestyle” (Corrigan, 2012), as well as other issues that are pressing to an aging population. In 2009, there were approximately 39.6 million individuals who were over the age of 65. By 2030, there will be roughly 72 million individuals who are over the age of 65. Thus, the number of people living over the age of 65 will nearly double over the next 14 years. This is a pressing issue for the health care system, especially the hospital system. It is important for the hospital system that these individuals stay insured in order to reimburse hospitals for their services. Without proper health care, these individuals will not be able to pay for the health care services, causing financial strain on the hospital system (Corrigan, 2012). Thus, it is important for the hospital system for these individuals to have enough health care insurance to cover their services.

When it comes to technology, technological advances have allowed hospitals to maintain and increase their efficiency for their consumers. Not all hospitals, however, can afford these technological advances. Some hospitals have been able to update their systems by eliminating paper charts completely. Now, physicians and other hospital administrators use tablets to keep track of their patient’s charts. Smaller hospitals, on the other hand, are not able to afford these types of services. While this does not seem like a large issue if the hospital is still able to maintain documentation of their patients, these hospitals are not able to automatically share patient files with other hospitals, causing more financial strain on the hospitals that do not have advanced technology. Without this advanced technology, these hospitals are forced to use other, sometimes expensive means, to properly share patient information. Overall, while technology has advanced health care throughout the United States, it has also created difficulties for the hospitals and other health care systems that are not able to afford such expensive technology (Corrigan, 2012).

    References
  • Corrigan, K. (2012). Five forces that will change healthcare marketing. Retrieved on 7 August 2017, from https://www.healthworkscollective.com/five-forces-will-change-healthcare-marketing/
  • InvestorWords. (2017). Environmental analysis. Retrieved on 7 August 2017, from http://www.investorwords.com/19283/environmental_analysis.html
  • Scott, E. (2017). Trump: If GOP health care bill fails, repeal Obamacare now, replace later. Retrieved on 7 August 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/30/politics/trump-healthcare-bill-twitter/index.html