Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Development of a Strategic Plan for Healthtrust Utah

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

The Development of a Strategic Plan for Healthtrust Utah

Article excerpt


Critics charge that the American healthcare delivery system is broken, that while consuming an ever-increasing portion of the Gross National Product, it fails to provide accessibility and quality. Many charged with fixing the system lack the tools to address the problem including an understanding of how the healthcare industry djffers from other indus fries. This case study provides an overview ofproblems facing a cluster of hospitals owned by a large hospital corporation as it tries to compete in a continually changing environment.

The case is based on an actual strategic plan prepared for the Utah division of Health Trust, Inc. and explains the steps one might follow in preparing a strategic plan. The names of all individuals have been changed.

The case can be covered in one class period. Student preparation time is approximately two hours. The case can be used in any business course addressing the topic of strategic planning or in a course on health administration where the instructor wishes to provide the student with an overview of the problems facing large healthcare organizations. The case has a djfficulty level appropriate to students who are juniors in a bachelor ~ degree business program.


Dr. Richard Mallory, a professor, consultant, and former hospital administrator has signed a contract to develop a strategic plan for the Utah division of Health Trust, a large forprofit hospital corporation headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

The division ~ six hospital administrators initiated the contract. It was the outgrowth of their increasing frustration with corporate management, whom they believe do not understand the unique characteristics of the Utah market This has caused the corporation to impose a management model the local administrators believe is incompatible with Utah ~ competitive environment.

Mallory is considering a traditional format for the strategic plan that will include an environmental scan and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of both HealthTrust and its Utah competitors. He plans to evaluate several generic marketing strategies for their applicability to the healthcare industry. These include cost leadership, product differentiation, innovation leadership, niche marketing, and a copycat strategy. …

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