Improve Your Hospital’s Performance using SWOT Analysis

For every nurse leader, there comes a time when you must assess your financial position, whether it be on the unit, departmental, or system level. One tool that nurse leaders can use to gain a better understanding of their financial performance is the SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – analysis. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your organization, nurse leaders are better equipped to develop well informed strategic plans that help you and your organization achieve your goals. Below is a basic framework that can be used by any nurse leader to better understand their organization’s performance:

Strengths: What do you do well?

  • Core competencies, or things your organization does well that distinguish your hospital or system from competitors
  • Internal resources such as highly specialized physicians and nursing teams
  • Tangible assets such asspecialized medical equipment
    • Ex: state-of-the-art facilities, superior quality care

Weaknesses: Where do you need to improve?

  • Areas in your organization where performance could be improved
  • Functional areas where other hospitals perform better
  • Resource limitations
    • Ex: staffing shortages, high number of uninsured patients

Opportunities: What emerging opportunities can you use to achieve your goals?

  • Emerging demand for your organization’s specialty areas
  • Opportunities to increase your hospital’s sphere of influence
  • Competitor weaknesses
    • Ex: marketing opportunities to increase hospital awareness, patient trust

Threats: What obstacles are you facing?

  • Both internal and external threats that the organization is facing
  • Changing regulatory environment / patient attitudes
  • Performance issues that can affect hospital reputation
    • Ex: poor performance or reputation, changing regulatory requirements

The SWOT framework can be an effective tool to provide insight into many situations and inform go-forward strategy such as for team dynamics, unit or service-line performance, and leadership development for yourself or for members or your team.

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Articles Cited:

1Hunt, P., Laughon, D. (October 14th, 2019) Performing a SWOT analysis

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