Health Services Strategic Management

Course Details

Course Number: HSAD 5213  Section Number: NA

Spring 2012

Location: Martin Hall

Days & Times:

No class meetings

Course Attachments


Strategic management of health care organizations,  ISBN: 978-1-4051-7918-8

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Kirk C Harlow   
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Course Objectives

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the overall process of strategic management. 2. Identify and understand the differences between strategic management and planning. 3. Present the steps necessary in strategic planning. 4. Conduct an environmental analysis that synthesizes information from a variety of sources and covering a wide scope of content. 5. Present and apply a variety of strategic analysis models. 6. Discuss how to formulate and choose from among a number of different strategies. 7. Explore the different ways one can implement a strategy. 8. Explain how to sustain strategic management within the organization. 9. Demonstrate critical thinking skills when examining issues in health services strategic management through problem-solving exercises and/or case preparation. 10. Demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge from different disciplines including, but not limited to, health care finance, health care economics, marketing, research methods, organizational behavior, administrative practice, epidemiology, and statistics to arrive at decisions regarding cases. 11. Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research through the preparation of a research paper or report.

Course Expectations

Class Requirements and Assignments:


       All individual assignments should be submitted through the Blackboard/WebCt email for the course.  Do not use the university email address for submitting assignments.


       When posting to discussions, it is better to post directly than to use attachments.  You can cut and paste from Word to the discussion if you want to prepare a comment over time.  Use Word attachments for assignments sent directly to the professor.


I.  Student bios.  Each student should post a brief biographical sketch that lays out his or her background, experience, current program in which they are enrolled, and anything else you want to let people know about you.  This is a requirement.


II. Discussion activities:  A number of class discussion areas are opened during the semester.  These discussions are an ongoing discussion that may involve open topical discussions, discussion questions, problems, and/or case studies from the textbook.  The discussion is initiated by the instructor and students are expected to contribute at least one time each week (this is a minimum requirement and a failure to meet this requirement will result in a zero in the points for this area.  Your actual grade, however, is based on additional factors as noted in the rubric).  The instructor may add additional questions or comments; however, students are encouraged to take initiative and post both comments and questions and treat the discussion as a discussion that might occur in a classroom.  For example, you might add something from work that is relevant to the course, or comment on a current event like a news story or election.  The discussion area is where the content of the course is “brought to life.” 

A. Possible discussion points:  Up to 50 points will be assigned to each student based on the frequency, extent, and quality of contribution to the class discussion and comments on posted cases.  These points are assigned for both the Class discussion and the posted case comments.  The total points will be assigned at the end of the semester.


III. Homework Questions/Cases/Problems Homework.  Students will be assigned problems, questions and/or case studies to be completed and turned in to the instructor directly on the dates noted below.  Assignments will be posted in the Assignment area of Blackboard/WebCt.  Discussion questions are cumulative and may require information assigned previously.  The case assignments for this course are drawn from the class textbook, so you are encouraged to read the cases in advance.

A. Possible points.  Assignments must be completed by the deadlines noted.  Each case/question/problem assignment is worth 35 points unless otherwise noted at the time of posting.


IV. Research Report.  Students will be expected to prepare a 25 to 30-page research report that represents a service area competitor analysis (See Chapter 3 of text and associated notes and supplemental readings) and an external environmental analysis (See Chapter 2 of text and associated notes and supplemental readings).  The report should use American Psychological Association guidelines for referencing outside sources.  Because it is technical in nature, you may use other styles for creating sections and any charts or tables should be inserted within the document.  It should be formatted to reflect a professional quality of report and include an Executive Summary at the beginning.


The paper will include several steps that will be put together to complete the final paper.  The deadlines are included in the assignment schedule below.  These steps include:

1. A description of a health services organization that will be the focus of your paper.  This can be any health service system including a hospital, home health organization, rehabilitation facility, skilled nursing facility, medical clinic, specialty clinic, imaging center, or any other type of health services organization.  It may be located anywhere in the world, but it is advisable to select a single location, so if the organization has multiple locations, just pick one.

2. Provide a clear delineation of the services provided by the organization and the market boundaries.  The market boundaries may vary somewhat for different services.

3. Provide an external competitor analysis for the current time period and the next 3 to 5 years.  Chapter 3 of the textbook addresses how to do this.

4. Provide an external environmental scan of the legislative/political, economic, social/demographic, technological, and competitive changes (See Chapter 2 of the class text, as well as the notes that are posted in that week).  Actual data sources such as the U.S. Bureau of the Census, peer-reviewed journal articles, suitable technical reports, and other sources should be used.  A variety of web links are provided on Blackboard/WebCt, although you may find others.  To the extent possible, primary sources should be used as opposed to sources citing other sources.  This analysis should address the goals of pg. 43 of the course text, and lay out the implications of the changes for the health services organization selected. 

5. Discussion the implications and strategic issues that the organization will face given your data and analyses.

A. Possible points.  The paper is worth 70 points.


V. Final exam:  An online final exam will be posted.  This exam will be comprised of brief essay questions related to the content of the course.

A. Possible points.  The exam is worth 30 points.




Grading Standards

      A=90-100 %

      B=80-89 %

      C=70-79 %



Submission Format Policy

Papers should use American Psychological Association format unless otherwise directed by the professor.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Any assignment turned in after the due date will receive an automatic deduction of 10 % of the total points subtracted from the points given for the assignment.  Assignments will not be accepted seven days after the due date without permission in advance from the instructor.  At that time a score of 0 will be assigned to the assignment.  

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Must participate in online discussion weekly.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.