In healthcare, a multiplicity of things are constantly changing. That’s the norm. The problem is that executives often get stuck in a rut of chaos. They go from one crisis to the next, one board meeting to the next, and before they know it, there’s no time left to think about strategy and the future.

Healthcare providers face serious challenges from new competitors. My clients tell me that they have a difficult time keeping up with what is going on outside their own environment.

It’s not enough to think about strategy once a year in a fast moving environment like healthcare. A new approach is to use Sentient Strategy™ between annual strategy reviews. The Sentient approach is meant to formulate strategy quickly, to be used immediately for as long as conditions warrant, and then to make changes rapidly as conditions change. Taking six weeks to create a five-year strategy in these times is like deciding to write longhand in general ledgers to track financial results in a business.

Consumers are taking note that they have options. They are attracted to nearby drug stores for convenient and fast service for immunizations, blood pressure checks, and urgent care. They are not bothering to go to their primary care doctor or clinic because the process to get an appointment is time-consuming.

With the advance of technology in healthcare, former inpatient surgeries and procedures are being replaced by outpatient visits at specialized ambulatory surgery clinics. These are big losses to a hospital’s revenue. To keep the patients in house, the patient experience needs to be delivered in a totally new and different format with a cost that rivals the specialty clinic.

Customers are on the move. The question is whether they are moving toward you or away from you. Are you adapting your strategy to fend off competition?