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SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice: Why Is It Important?

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

SWOT Analysis in Healthcare


SWOT Analysis in healthcare can be intimidating, particularly if you are doing it for the first time. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about SWOT analysis, how to perform one, what must be included, and more importantly, what must be avoided.


Keep reading to understand everything you need about healthcare SWOT analysis.


What is a SWOT Analysis In Healthcare Practice?


SWOT is the acronym for interpretation of Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. This analysis is a simple and practical evaluation model used by medical professionals.

Furthermore, it assists healthcare providers in evaluating their business's internal and external situations.


Moreover, it is normally used as a way to develop a business strategy. This analysis uses both quantitative as well as qualitative information. Using a mix of both helps in assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your hospital or healthcare organization.

What is a SWOT Analysis In Healthcare Practice
What is a SWOT Analysis In Healthcare Practice

What makes this analysis crucial for medical professionals is that it can aid you in discovering the opportunities that you can exploit.


Furthermore, this analysis also helps determine the weaknesses you can overcome and the threats you might have ignored.


Importance Of SWOT Analysis In Healthcare

Importance Of SWOT Analysis In Healthcare
Importance Of SWOT Analysis In Healthcare

There are lots of benefits of conducting a SWOT analysis in healthcare practice. Below are the importance of it for your healthcare practice.


Prepares You Against Future Setbacks


Healthcare is a fast and continually transforming industry. If you lack readiness for the forthcoming changes, you will encounter a difficult time navigating setbacks.


Luckily, it is a foresighted approach. When you and your team sit down and examine forthcoming dangers that could impede your advancement and profitability in the coming years, you can formulate and develop strategies against any possible uncertainty and change.

It Reveals The Untapped Possibilities For You To Take Advantage


Regardless of the type of healthcare practice you operate, there’s always room for improvement. For your healthcare practice to improve and advance to the next level, you need to anticipate future possibilities and opportunities.


This is an indication that you need to discover new ideas that will shoot your healthcare practice to a new level.


This analysis allows you to locate new routes and chances that your competitors are not yet aware of. This gives your organization a new direction with competitive edges when it comes to making profits and long-term success.


It Takes Your Healthcare Practice Away From The Tunnel Vision Trap


Most people tend to be biased toward their business. They believe that their strengths far overpower their weaknesses and as a result of this, they ignore possible traps that could affect their business. Lacking foresight when it comes to future decisions is a quick lane to a crumbling healthcare practice.


This analysis is one of the tools that you can utilize to fight your short-sighted vision and be accurate about your flow processes. By conducting this analysis, you shoot down your shortcomings and highlight all of your weaknesses so you can switch them to strengths.

Is Important To Reverse Engineer Your Competitors


Another tremendous importance of conducting this analysis is that you can use it to obtain a bird’s eye view of your competitive terrain. Just like how you perform of your business, you can as well perform it on your competition.


Strengthen Your Strategy


The information that healthcare practices get from this analysis helps them in making better strategies. By offering a top-notch review of your competitive stake and positioning, SWOT provides you the ability to minimize weaknesses, maximize strengths and seize the available opportunities.


Penetrate The Niche Segments


Healthcare practices can acquire an extensive understanding of the competitive landscape. They can use these understandings to design entry techniques in the market to penetrate the niche segments.


Steps To Perform A SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice

Steps To Perform A SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice
Steps To Perform A SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice

So, you have read the importance of SWOT analysis to your healthcare practice and you are convinced that you can give it a shot. Now, you will learn about how you can perform it for your healthcare practice.


Develop An Objective


The foremost and most important step to successfully perform is to understand your objective. What objective mean here is whether you are looking to evaluate your whole business plan, are you ready to assess a recent trajectory, or are you contemplating penetrating a new market?


All these can be answered and analyzed with the aid of this analysis. So, if you have a clear objective, you can commence by compiling all the facts and data to help you evaluate.


Identify Your Main Area Of Priority


As one in the healthcare industry, it is important first to examine all the elements of healthcare marketing so that you come up with a clear strategic decision.


Identifying your main areas of priority will help you to develop sound strategies and also help you achieve your business objective.


The main areas of priority for healthcare marketing are;

  1. Public health agencies

  2. Providers

  3. Payers

  4. Patients

Leverage Your Strengths And Work On Your Weaknesses


It would give you a reasonable idea about the areas of your healthcare practice that are progressing and which areas require improvement. Your healthcare practice cannot be static, there’s always a need for improvement.


To take your healthcare practice to the next level, you need to ask yourself some questions that might require answers. The questions are;

  1. What are your competitors doing that is lacking in your practice?

  2. What do your patients complain about the most?

  3. What are the everyday operational challenges in your practice?

  4. What are the areas your staff are suffering the most in your practice?

The answers you provide to these questions will help you to analyze the issues in your practice. You will also be able to develop strategies to eradicate them.


Now that you know how this analysis for healthcare practice is performed. Let's look further into the healthcare industry’s strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.


The SWOT Analysis Processes

SWOT Analysis Processes
SWOT Analysis Processes

SWOT is an acronym that means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Each of these elements has an insight meaning to the healthcare industry.


Strengths


The main strength of your healthcare practice is what makes it excels and distinguishes your practice from your competitors. The concept is to recognize your strengths and influence their power to establish your brand. Your strengths can be identified quickly through your discussions with your staff. Your strengths may include:

  • Competent staff.

  • A robust brand name.

  • Niche patient's concentration.

  • Good business location.

  • Experience and professionalism of you and your staff

  • Extraordinary values,

  • Good relationships with your patients.

Weaknesses


If you experience continuous and endless weakness in your healthcare practice, it will deter you from effectively carrying out your day-to-day tasks and services.


If you are conscious of the weaknesses and difficulties of your practice, then ensure to find out the effective ways and strategies to tackle them.


Some of the regular examples of weaknesses in healthcare practices include:

  • Lack of staff.

  • Long waiting time.

  • Poor financial management.

  • Bad location.

  • Shabby business premises.

  • Outdated tools and equipment.

  • Inability to attract new patients.

  • Bad image and reputation.

  • Unprofessional service.

Opportunities


Opportunities are a favorable external factor that could help you cope with a competitive advantage. Opportunities usually emerge from outside of your medical practice. It's usually an external force that arises from lots of factors. Hence you should always keep a close eye on them and be ready when they come.


One of the best strategies when taking advantage of opportunities is to analyze your strengths for any opportunities that may come to your healthcare practice. Alternatively, you can develop opportunities by clearing out some of your weaknesses. You can discover some opportunities by:

  • Switching technology.

  • Providing treatments and services connected to your specialty.

External changes may bring forth new opportunities. For example, a constitutional amendment that mandates patients to purchase a product.


Some of the opportunities in healthcare practice may include;

  • Excellent location

  • Comfortable and ample parking space

  • Well-trained and sufficient staff

  • Excellent cost structures

  • Successful referral programs with physicians

  • Susceptibility of competitors.

Threats


A threat can be anything that limits your healthcare practice from achieving success. When performing a SWOT analysis in healthcare practice, it is critical to be realistic about threats.

This is because the sooner you acknowledge and accept responsibility for what you are threatened with, the sooner you can start to handle them. You should aim to be able to recognize where your practice is at the moment and where you foresee it to be in the future.


Threats can be inconsequential or huge enough to eliminate your healthcare practice completely. You could be anticipating changes that may affect your practice directly or indirectly and maintain far-reaching effects.


For example, a just remodeled office of your competitor may cause your office equipment and kits to look outdated and may lead to loss of patients. Threats may also comprise anything that would want to limit your goals and objectives.


Although no practice is resistant to threats, this analysis aims to safeguard your practice against threats.


Threats could be;

  • Severe competition

  • Staff discontent

  • Security infringements

  • Unhappy patients

  • Instability in referral sources or market demand

  • Loss or resignation of main support staff

It is essential to determine your healthcare practice's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The main objective is to carefully evaluate the services, brand image, culture, weaknesses, and opportunities. You can carry out this analysis to define the competitive positioning of your products and services in the marketplace.


When you analyze your SWOT, you can evaluate the present state of your healthcare practice and project a course of action to achieve your set goals.


Opportunities will locate you by leveraging your strengths and converting your weaknesses to strengths.


Awareness of threats can help you survive in a competitive market like the healthcare industry. A SWOT analysis in healthcare is comparable to accomplishing an in-house audit as it provides the devices and mastery required for strategic planning for a better effective technique.


Examples of SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice

Examples of SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice
Examples of SWOT Analysis in Healthcare Practice

The healthcare industry achieves the demands of the patients. Consequently, the demands of patients enable the healthcare industry to survive.


Below is an example of a SWOT analysis in healthcare;


1. Strengths

  • Established brand penetration

  • Robust funding

  • Public health cooperation and partnership

  • Strong community presence

2. Weaknesses

  • High rate of nurses turnover

  • Limited staff participation

  • The need for brand culture and bureaucracy

3. Opportunities

  • Technology advancement

  • Increase branding actions

  • Consistent messages in programs and outreach

4. Threats

  • Reduced workforce

  • Patients experience challenges coping with expansion

  • Decisions are disconnected

Conclusion


You cannot carry out marketing research and risk assessments alone. It can only be accomplished with the help of proofs which can be compiled with the help of this analysis.

However, it is easy to comprehend, but you need to be very patient and creative while applying it.


If you perfectly implement your analysis, you will be able to improve and grow your healthcare practice and stay ahead of your competitors.


FAQs


How often should I conduct a SWOT analysis in healthcare practice?


SWOT analysis for your healthcare practice should be conducted at least once a year and at most twice a year. It's a "great picture" exercise that challenges you to compile, analyze and evaluate the significant impacts that work for or against your objectives.


Can I conduct a SWOT analysis on my own or do I need to hire a consultant?

You can conduct it on your own. You don't need to hire a consultant. After reading this article, you must have gained insight into how to conduct the analysis on your own.


How can I use the result of my SWOT analysis in healthcare to make meaningful changes to my healthcare practice?

How can I use the result of my SWOT analysis in healthcare to make meaningful changes to my healthcare practice?
How can I use the result of my SWOT analysis in healthcare to make meaningful changes to my healthcare practice?

SWOT Analysis enables you to determine the strengths of your healthcare practice, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It steers you to build on what you are doing well, addresses what you lack, takes advantage of new opportunities, and minimizes threats. Contact us for more queries.

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