Table of Contents
In the current highly competitive and highly technological business environment, all companies are burdened with ways by which they can perform better and more profitably. Aside from the competitive and technological business setting, changes are also constant and ever-present (Botha, Kourie, and Snyman, 2014). For companies to stay competitive and for them to keep up with the changes, there is a need for them to take the necessary steps for change and expansion by also accessing these new markets and new technologies as well as ensuring that their clients and consumers are satisfied (Decker, Haltiwanger, Jarmin and Miranda, 2016). New strategies can also help attract young and eager employees (Uslu, 2017). Managers as well as company executives have the unenviable task of seeking and developing such new tools and techniques in order to help understand the internal and external costs of services and productions, to secure information from the business environment, in order to understand consumer needs and wishes, to predict organizational performance and to promote competitiveness (Anna, 2015). An organization’s performance is very much crucial in the strategic management setting.
In the medical and medical research setting, the business environment is primarily directed towards the management of patients. In this context, this would include the treatment and care of patients, the management of medical staff, and the development of medical research which can be used in treating diseases, in improving the lives of patients under hospital care, and in developing new treatments for chronic diseases and emerging diseases. As compared to multinational corporations, the goal of medical institutions is less towards profit, and more towards altruism and delivering services to consumers in need (Brekke, Siciliani and Straume, 2015). There are therefore different strategies which would aptly apply to these medical institutions.
In this study, the Sidra Medical and Medical Research Center located in Qatar shall be the primary institution to be analyzed. Strategic management is one of the primary tools for management in order to improve and secure their objectives and goals. Strategic management seeks to develop the best tools and techniques to ensure that the right goals are set for the organization and the most strategic actions are being used in order to secure such goals (Abdulhussien and Hamza, 2015). There are various tools and techniques which are very much useful in providing management with information which would ultimately add value to any organization. This paper shall discuss how using such tools and techniques have or could contribute in adding value to the Sidra Medical and Medical Research Center. Some of these tools and techniques selected for this analysis shall include: SWOT analysis, cost-benefit analysis, customer satisfaction analysis, and Porter’s five forces.
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Various studies have been conducted on the importance of strategic management and its tools and techniques towards securing the goals of organizations. In the studies by Iseri-Say and colleagues (2006), Al-Khadash and Feridun (2006) and by Indiatsy, et al., (2014), using management and strategic techniques and tools can significantly affect organizational performance. Other studies (Rigby, 1994; Friedl & Biloslavo, 2009; and Efendioglu & Karabulut, 2010) however have not clearly acknowledged the relationship between strategic techniques and tools and the performance of the organization. In effect, the literature does not provide much support on the application of strategic techniques and tools to improve organizational performance. Rigby (1994) for instance discusses the impact of management tools on performance based on five performance outcomes. Al-Khadash and Feridun (2006) was able to establish the presence of a significant relationship between the use of strategic tools and the financial performance of numerous industries in Jordan. Iseri-Say and colleagues (2008) evaluated how the use of different strategic management tools impacted on organizational performance. The authors’ results indicate that there is a significant relationship between competitive positioning, performance capabilities, financial results, and the use of strategic management tools and techniques. Other studies set out to understand the impact of these tools on the organizational performance. Friedl and Biloslavo (2009) established that strategic tools and techniques did not have much impact on the financial performance of an organization; nevertheless, they acknowledged that some management tools were very much associated with the organization performance. Efendioglu and Karabulut (2010) also assessed performance outcomes and considered the effect of management tools on the organization’s financial outcomes. The results of their study were not clear.
The study by Indiatsu and colleagues (2014) set out to study how using Porter’s five forces would impact on the organizational performance of Kenya’s banking industry. They were able to note a significant relationship, but it must be emphasized that the use of various techniques can help managers in improving the outcomes of business and of organizations including their revenues and market shares. Abdulhussein and Hamza (2012) also recognized how using strategic techniques and tools can decrease costs, improve the quality of products and improve performance. Other studies also established how high consumer ratings as well as loyalty can help improve revenues and cash-flows (Heskett, et al., 1994; Ittner & Larcker, 1998: Williams & Naumann, 2011). Dertouzes and colleagues also note how high companies with good performance highlighted consumer-focused tools as major benefits were observed from their management tools and techniques. Management tools and techniques can also be used in various areas including general management, operations management, human resource management, information technology, planning, and resource allocation (Armstrong, 1993). These strategic tools and techniques generally assist managers in their decision making. Marketing management processes also help identify and secure the needs of consumers (Afonina and Chalupský, 2012). These tools and techniques applied in operations management also seeks to promote the competitive advantage of the organization (Al-khadash and Feridun, 2006). The financial management aspect covers various tools and techniques which can be used in decision-making, especially in terms of finance and in predicting the general outcomes and performance of companies (Aldehayyat, Khattab and Anchor, 2011). In effect, management tools and strategies can be used as powerful tools which can assist managers in defining and developing proposed solutions to existing issues within the organization (Carton and Hofer, 2006). In general, the relationship of strategic management tools and techniques and organizational performance has not been completely understood and studied in previous studies, especially in studies involving medical institutions. Therefore, the goal of this study is to understand how strategic tools and techniques have and will help the Sidra Medical add value to their organization. Specifically, it shall consider several strategic management tools and techniques (cost-benefit analysis, customer satisfaction analysis, analysis of customer’s complaints, analysis of employee satisfaction, and Porter’s five forces) and how these tools have and will improve the value of Sidra Medical.
Case Study: Sidra Medical
The use of the SWOT analysis helped and will help the Sidra Medical Center improve its value (Bull, et al., 2016). A SWOT analysis of the medical center helped and will help establish its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and how these aspects were and can be used by the medical center (Hargrave, 2015). First, the strengths of the medical center were clearly established by its managers from the very start. One of its strengths primarily lies in its ultramodern, all-digital academic medical center which has been set to develop new standards in patient care for women as well as children in Qatar, the Gulf region and in the international community. Another strength is seen in the fact that it has the support of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. With her support, this medical center is likely to receive government funding long into the future; it would also likely to receive significant support from other countries because it can potentially provide an essential service which can benefit not just the people of Qatar but international citizens as well. Lastly, its strength is also very much seen in the fact that it is already operational and providing expert medical services to the people of Qatar, and various medical studies are being initiated within the medical center.
As for weaknesses, the Sidra Medical managers acknowledge that the medical center is still not fully operational. There are about four medical units fully functioning, but other units and departments are set to open in the future. Still, Sidra’s weakness is very much in its limited capacity. There is a need to improve its capacity and to expand its services in order for it to meet its target goals and objectives. In acknowledging such weakness, the managers of the medical center have been doing their best to make their other units operational the soonest possible time (Uhrenfeldt, et al., 2014). Their managers used this strategic tool in order to be appropriately informed about the improvements they can make to the medical center.
The managers also considered the opportunities available to the medical center. These opportunities include medical research and opportunities to collaborate with other research centers including the Weill-Cornell Medicine in Qatar (WCM-Q), the Hamad Medical Corporation, and Qatar Biobank. They have setup plans to work with these institutions in order to help them fulfill their goals of improving the standards of healthcare in the country and ensuring valuable opportunities for research and learning are available. Through this analysis, the managers of Sidra medical have also realized their value to Qatar and to its neighboring countries, mostly in terms of the medical services they can provide.
Through the SWOT analysis, the managers have also recognized the threats which are being faced by the Sidra Medical Center. One of these threats relate to financial concerns (Jakovljevic and Ogura, 2016). In the past where the global economy was hit by an economic crisis, major cutbacks in budget were implemented and the budget for health in many countries was reduced (Gostin and Ayala, 2017). A reduced budget translated to less hiring of new and additional staff, less purchases in medical resources, and less medical institutions built (Donald, et al., 2014). This is a risk for Sidra Medical Center as well. The medical field is a costly and not sufficiently profitable venture (Ortiz and Cummins, 2014; Kondilis, et al., 2013). The ultimate goal of the medical center is to render healthcare services, and profit is not their priority (Bauer and Thant, 2015). This can make the medical center vulnerable to losses and financial instability (Rahim, et al., 2014; Reeves, McKee, Basu and Stuckler, 2014). In terms of competition, the medical center does not have much competition and if it would have such competition, it would ultimately benefit the medical center and the people who can avail of more options in healthcare services (Desai, 2014; Karanikolos, et al., 2013). Through this analysis, the medical managers of Sidra Medical understood better the threats they are facing and are now coming up with plan on how to face these threats.
The cost-benefit analysis was also used in order to assist the medical managers in making and in understanding the decisions they have and will make for the medical center. Cost-benefit analysis is applied first in order to establish if an investment or decision is sound (justified/feasible) based on the benefits outweighing costs, and second in order to provide a basis in comparing projects which may cover comparisons made on total expected costs of the options chosen in relation to its total possible benefits (O’Neill, et al., 2013). The decision to invest in a medical center in Qatar is considered a sound decision mostly in terms of the healthcare services it can ultimately provide to the community. Healthcare services are an important service to the community as it can help save the lives of citizens and it can help develop treatments for current and emerging diseases (Drummond, et al., 2015). The fact that the medical center is located in Doha, Qatar places it in a strategic and central position to serve a large group of people (Muennig and Bounthavong, 2016). The fact that the organization also offers an essential service makes it a very much feasible institution to maintain and invest in even if it would not be significantly be profitable for its investors (Chao, et al., 2014). The managers are very much aware that their medical center would not be a financially beneficial venture, but ultimately a beneficial venture for the people who require medical services (Nas, 2016). Their cost-benefit-analysis helped them realize, from the very start that the medical center would not likely earn profits for its Board of Governors and for the Chairperson H.H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The managers have nevertheless designated the facility to be a “private for public benefit organization, and has a duty to observe the highest standards of corporate governance”.
The development of the medical center has been a costly project because it has been set up as a modern and world-class facility. The additional plans for the project are also expected to further bloat the cost of the project. Nevertheless, the benefits far outweigh the costs of the project because of the ultimate services and the quality of services it would likely be able to provide. From the design of the medical facility, there are already expected benefits which would be experienced by those seeking the services of the facility. The design has been ultimately to secure a 400-bed capacity hospital, with an outpatient clinic. This design will help service the needs of in-patients as well as outpatients seeking short-term consult. The design of the hospital has also been planned to later receive an expansion to 550 beds in the next stage of its infrastructure.
Sidra’s benefits can also be seen in terms of the services it is rendering and will be able to render. At present, it has three clinics in operation and serving different patients in Dermatology, Pediatric General Surgery Consultation and Obstetrics. These clinics are also being supported by essential medical services like radiology, pathology, pharmacy, and laboratory facilities. The Sidra Outpatient Clinic also serves women and children via a referral system, in coordination with healthcare in Qatar. The facility will also be providing clinics and services in coordination with other healthcare providers in Qatar. There are likely to be more clinics as well as services which would be made accessible in the years to come.
A significant benefit of the organization also lies in its dynamic research and education environment alongside strong partnerships with different institutions in the world (Drummond, et al., 2015). The organization has been able to establish an intellectual ecosystem which would help ensure scientific discovery with the use of investments in medical research. Qatar has secured significant investments in their healthcare and the Sidra Medical Center has helped secure such investments. It is also promising as a world-class patient care center, helping build the country’s scientific skills and other crucial resources.
Sidra covers different essential missions, including world-class patient care, medical education, and biomedical research. It is also important to acknowledge that the center’s benefits outweigh its costs (O’Neil, et al., 2013). The structure of the medical center is based on a modern design which would help serve the purposes of the center (Thiel, et al., 2014). The design of the center includes steel, glass, and white ceramic tiles which are designed to be mark healing environments. The design of the structure also includes atriums which would help provide healing areas and gardens for the patients. The atriums can be viewed by the patients, allowing them to enjoy fresh air during the cool and warm months of the year (Thiel, et al., 2014). Water features are also seen in the lobby and an art collection would be viewable from the lobbies. These features are meant to help make the stay or visit of the patients more enjoyable and less stressful. It also seeks to lend a more conducive setting for healing and comfort (Thiel, et al., 2014).
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The design of the Sidra Medical Center is also very beneficial for patients. It has an enclosed walkway as well as a state-of-the art biomedical research facility setup in an area to the west of the main building (Gerstein, et al., 2016). The initial clinic building has already been built with plans to add other parts and structures later. The historic structure which at present caters to the needs of the center has been preserved and incorporated to the Sidra Medical campus, in between the two modern buildings (Gerstein, et al., 2016). This design has been meant to recognize the value of tradition as well as progress. The design of the Sidra Medical is by Architect Cesar Pelli, designer of the Petronas Towers and other well-known structures. The design is therefore bound to attract much attention from the rest of the world, especially as Pelli has acknowledged that the facility is considered one of the most modern and significant medical and research center in the world.
The Sidra Medical Center is also beneficial to Qatar and to its neighbor because the design and the management of the center have been planned with comfort as well as well-being in mind. This covers technologies which would provide power to the center, with patients being given the best care they can get within the realm of sophisticated hospital technology or systems. The design of the medical center is also beneficial because its technology has been designed for security and reliability (Rajesh and Gupta, 2014). It is also built to be a data center with its wireless networks and storage infrastructures; these structures help to ensure that the different patient data as well as its records would be easily accessible as well as fully protected (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). A strong technology platform is one of the overall objectives of the medical center, and as such, it has set forth data centers, wireless networks and storage centers. All patient information and records would therefore be easily stored as well as accessible and with full protection (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). A strong technology platform would help ensure that a strong foundation for future plans would be set in place with these plans supporting enhanced and patient-focused technologies (Gupta and Rajesh, 2014). An all-digital environment is also considered beneficial for the medical center because ultimately this is the direction which the world is headed for. The digital setting would translate to more efficient services, more accurate data storage and management, accurate care, and the easy accessibility of simplified data (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). The digital setting would ultimately help support the continuous and effective treatment of patients.
The Sidra medical center is beneficial as one of the first medical centers applying innovative systems in its design. The initial stage of its implementation highlights the automation of care processes which would cover useful tools including patient portals, electronic medical records, including health information exchange (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). This would help empower the patients towards becoming more interested in their health, to engage with doctors about their health and about what they can do to improve it (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). The medical center is beneficial in this setting, especially as doctors and clinicians would also benefit from the digital setting (Maben, et al., 2015). The digital structure would help them access comprehensive medical records, alongside quick decisions made, allowing a streamlined process in consultancy for best clinical practices.
A primary function of the medical center is also very much beneficial in terms of the fact that it is a center which allows its medical personnel to access patient files while online (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016). The online setting also helps them make quick decisions based on data which reaches them and is accessible to them. The digital setting helps provide quicker and more accurate management, including the means which would help keep patients updated on their condition (Lee, Williams and Sheikh, 2016).
The strong IT foundation for the medical center has been and is being set forth in order to secure advanced healthcare informatics processes (Rajesh and Gupta, 2014). This would cover state-of-the-art robotics and other modern medical devices (Rajesh and Gupta, 2014). These technologies seek to promote Sidra as a leader in ensuring strong and effective patient care with the use of innovative technologies.
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Customer Satisfaction Analysis
The strategic tool and technique – customer satisfaction analysis uses data on consumer satisfaction in order to establish improvements needed for any organization (Lonial and Raju, 2015). The customer satisfaction analysis can be self-rated by the organization or rated by the consumers. The Sidra Medical and Research center, based on data gathered from respondents who took part in a survey at the Outpatient Clinic from May to December 2016 has delivered satisfactory patient services. The Outpatient Clinic has scored top marks based on patients surveyed, approximately seven months from the time the first clinics opened. There were about 5000 respondents who participated in the survey with 92% indicating their full satisfaction with Sidra.
Sidra’s CEO has mentioned that at Sidra, they have done their best to focus on the patients’ needs. They have been encouraged by the results on patient satisfaction. They commit towards vigilance and to the patients using the skills and expertise within their disposal. They have also collected and use transparency to report on the quality of care of patients and to secure their safety. This is a continuous process as the medical center is set to provide more services and to open more clinics until such time when they can be fully operational.
The medical center has also been collecting data and feedback from the patients after their visits. These patients have been asked to rate their experiences in the hospital, to process the gathering of data, to rate doctors as well as the nurses and healthcare personnel. The patients have also been asked to express their perspective on how comfortable the medical facilities are.
Based on the customer satisfaction analysis, the medical center and its managers were able to gain patient feedback, mostly on the care they are receiving and their level of appreciation for such services. The patients expressed appreciation for these services and praised the personnel and the center in general for its facilities and services. At some point, a satisfied patient also named her baby Sidra. The feedback from the patients helped provide attention to the institution, allowing the decision-makers to identify gaps and concerns for the medical center. While the medical center did receive high ratings, these are motivations for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel towards working harder in order to ensure that the best standards of care are available for all patients (Zaim, Bayyurt, and Zaim, 2013). Such feedback, the managers realized, is critical as they are now getting ready to serve more patients (Panchapakesan, Sai and Rajendran, 2015). The customer satisfaction also helped provide input on how the services of the organization can be ramped up, mostly towards preparing the main hospital for inpatient care as well as recruiting management and clinical personnel.
Based on the customer analysis, Sidra successfully opened its outpatient clinic in May of 2016. It opened pediatric outpatient services, including obstetrics care. Specialists for pediatrics include experts in psychiatric, neonatology, urology, orthopedics, dermatology, and other related specializations. Sidra was also able to launch its day surgery clinic in October of last year. Just last month, they also launched their child advocacy program. This program has been set to address the needs of children who have suffered abuse and neglect. As a fully operational center, there are about 35 clinics and related services which would be made available. The customer satisfaction analysis also provided the managers with the necessary tools they can use to make decisions on quality patient care, collaborating with institutions which can secure better services (Al-Borie, and Sheikh Damanhouri, 2013). Other institutions, as realized by managers include the Hamad Medical Corporation, the Primary Healthcare Corporation, as well as the QF Primary Healthcare Center. The commitment of the center towards patient satisfaction has prompted its further expansion, its referral system, and the expansion of its clinics and services (Marković, Lončarić and Lončarić, 2014).
Porter’s 5 forces
Porter’s 5 forces also helped add value to the Sidra Medical Center. In applying this strategic technique, the competitive advantage of the medical center can be seen (Dixit, 2016). Porter’s 5 forces also looks into the different factors which impact on competition level in the industry. In terms of industry competitors, the managers of Sidra Medical were able to assess the other centers providing similar services. The rivalry is generally intense for clinics especially with the presence of privately-owned clinics (Austin, Bentkover and Chait, 2016). Where there are sick individuals, there are several options for patients with the cheaper option often winning. In the case of Qatar, there are several public and private hospitals as well as smaller clinics in Qatar. There are also several medical research facilities in the country. The fact that Sidra will be developed both as a hospital and research facility helps secure its place over and above other medical facilities.
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Porter’s five forces analysis also adds value to Sidra Medical mostly in terms of its ability to provide price competition. However, in general, there is no significant competition of Sidra with other private hospitals because most of the services being provided are similar and are usually covered by insurance or other pay option measures (Gupta, Epane, and Weech-Maldonado, 2015). As for threats of substitute products, this is a minimal threat because there are few options on possible substitute for medical services. Alternative medicine and traditional medicine is available to some extent depending on the beliefs and myths of the people. In Qatar, there are some traditions and beliefs of people related to healthcare and medicine, but there is minimal competition with medical options like hospitals and clinics.
As for threats of new entrants, there is also a minimal threat in terms of new entrants. New entrants in the healthcare sector are not a significant threat to Sidra Medical. Significant capital is needed to establish these medical centers and there are no clear signs on investors venturing into the healthcare industry because it is not a significant lucrative venture (Warth and Perren, 2014). Moreover, even where there are new entrants, these new entrants would be a welcome addition to the healthcare industry, as they help secure the healthcare needs of the people.
In terms of the bargaining power of buyers, the healthcare industry has a limited number of individuals actually going after a significant number of buyers, in this case, patients (Dixit, 2016). The patients are therefore influential towards the healthcare industry. They are able to influence its innovations, investments, its products, and services. Patients would also be able to dictate on prices of services because they are likely to opt for facilities which offer lower prices (Dixit, 2016). As for the bargaining power of the supplier, this is considered high because the healthcare industry is very much dependent on its supplies – medicines, medical equipment, and medical devices, even healthcare personnel (Dixit, 2016). As such, these suppliers can often dictate on the prices of medicines, equipment, even salaries.
In reviewing the above discussion, it is prudent to note that the strategic tools and techniques specifically: SWOT analysis, cost-benefit analysis, customer satisfaction analysis, and Porter’s five forces helped and will help add value to the Sidra Medical and Medical Research Center. The SWOT analysis for instance helped identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the organization. Through this SWOT Analysis, the tools which the institution can use to strengthen its place in the healthcare service industry have been identified. Possible improvements to these tools can also be observed. The cost-benefit analysis also helped identify the Sidra Medical as a very beneficial institution, mostly due to its world-class and technological features. The customer analysis also helped guide the activities of the organization, mostly in terms of the responsiveness of the organization to its patients and its patient needs. Porter’s five forces helped identify the bargaining power of consumers, of suppliers, of new entrants, and other forces. From this analysis, it can be noted that the Sidra Medical Center is in its best place as a healthcare institution. It offers numerous advantages to the patients, and it presents services which are very much needed by the people. It is not likely to close anytime soon, as it is highly supported politically, and it provides a service which would help the people of Qatar and its neighbors for years and years to come.
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