Case Study

A SWOT Analysis for a Medical Clinic

A faith-based clinic embarked on the development of a strategic plan to guide its operations over the next five years. As part of the process, the planning team conducted a SWOT analysis. This analysis involved identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, the opportunities that existed in the current and future environments, and any threats that might hinder its success. To obtain a diversity of opinions on these issues, the process was carried out with clinic staff, patients, and with representatives from the community.
The clinic’s location, quality of staff, caring philosophy, and willingness to accept all patients were identified as strengths. Weaknesses that were noted included overcrowding, a lack of after-hours services, and few medical specialists. Not surprisingly, clinic staff and patients identified different weaknesses.
When opportunities were enumerated, the stakeholders agreed that the clinic could benefit from additional locations, extended hours, expanded service offerings, and more modern facilities. While the staff, patients, and community members agreed that the clinic faced limited threats because of its near monopoly on Medicaid and uninsured patients, some expressed concern about the defection of increasingly dispersed customers to clinics with more convenient locations.
The results of the SWOT analysis informed the development of the clinic’s five-year strategic plan and helped set the parameters for the organization’s future development.
The assessment of strengths revealed attributes on which the organization should capitalize. The weaknesses indicated aspects that should be minimized or ameliorated. The threats indicated aspects that should be neutralized or countered. Of the four dimensions, opportunities were the most salient for strategy development, because an implicit goal of the strategy chosen should be to exploit opportunities in the marketplace.

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1. What is a SWOT analysis designed to discover?

2. What sources of information were identified to inform the SWOT process?

3. What were the findings of the SWOT analysis?

4. How were these findings used by the clinic?

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