Introduction to Healthcare Strategy

Introduction to Healthcare Strategy

CPD - short course
Healthcare leadership and management

What is an RCSI Online short course?

RCSI understands that healthcare professionals need to continuously grow and learn, enhancing their skills and expertise to meet the needs of an ever-evolving and complex healthcare environment and the changing demands of their roles. We know that sometimes a short and focused course in a specific subject area is all you need to meet your professional development needs at a point in time.

Our new and exciting CPD short courses will allow you to access transformative education, with topics and content delivered by subject-matter experts with industry experience and expertise. You will have access to leading-edge, highly relevant content delivered in a stimulating online learning environment, with exciting weekly course themes and formative knowledge checks. Each week, you will engage in a 1.5-hour live webinar session, accompanied by self-paced online activities to earn an RCSI Certificate on completion.

Why an Introduction to Healthcare Strategy?

No organisation can function effectively without a strategy.

In the past, strategy was more likely to be developed by senior management, and companies and organisations tended to closely guard their strategic plan. Today, however, strategic planning tends to involve widespread consultation, and to be published for anyone to see.

Participants on this short online CPD course will discover how strategy is now used as a communication and organisational tool, rather than one that necessarily provides an organisation with a competitive advantage.

They will consider how they can successfully input into an organisation’s strategy, and how to ensure that a strategic plan does not gather dust on a shelf but instead leads to real progress in their healthcare environment.

Enrol for this course now

Follow in the path of former students who have embraced 230 years of teaching excellence. Driven by the promise of 'leading the world to better health', RSCI has been at the forefront of international healthcare education since our establishment in 1784, and we have a worldwide reputation for delivering excellent Undergraduate and Postgraduate health professions education.

RCSI's singular healthcare focus is evident through all our Postgraduate programmes, offering innovative, insight-rich and immersive development opportunities for both current and future leaders in healthcare.

By the end of the course, you will have the confidence to effectively engage in the strategic process at every level, whether leading it, taking part in it or drafting key performance indicators. You should also be able to: 

  • Explore key organisation and management concepts as applied to strategy models in the healthcare sector. 
  • Understand how the theory and practice of strategy making can be applied to develop an inclusive, practical and responsive strategy.
  • Understand the full strategy life cycle from ideation, to consultation, implementation and monitoring.
  • Apply key strategic management tools and concepts to the strategy life cycle in your healthcare organisation.
  • Discuss and reflect on how the current approach to the strategy life cycle in your organisation could be improved 
  • Week one: You will learn about different models of strategy making, including SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, balance score cards, scenario planning, Porter's five forces, issue-based planning and more. You will learn the key terminology around strategic planning, as well as what models different organisations tend to use and why.
  • Week two: How do we start the process of making a strategy? Here, you will learn how to scan your organisation's internal environment and the external factors that shape your operations, as well as how to consult stakeholders and get the employee buy-in that leads to successful consultations. You will also consider the merits and demerits of top-down strategic planning (where management announces a strategy with little to no internal consultation) and bottom-up strategic planning (where ideas and inputs are sourced from employees and, sometimes, other stakeholders).You will consider the pros and cons of employee away days, which have become a familiar part of strategic planning.
  • Week three: How do you take information from consultations and environmental scanning, and use it to draft a strategy? What are the differences between an internal strategy, used for tracking progress internally, and an external strategy, which may go on an organisation's website, and how do these differences influence the final strategy document? In week three, youwill consider these questions, as well as what gives weight and legitimacy to a strategy. In this context, questions about how to workshop a strategy and take feedback from you in the process, will be centre stage. 
  • Week four: How do you understand a strategy, how do you start it, how do you finish and launch it, and how do you ensure that it is monitored, implemented and, ultimately, closed off? You will learn about key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of a strategy, how to draft them, and why they may only bring value to an organisation if they are measured and monitored. You will also consider how best to monitor a strategy and communicate its progress, and whether this should be done by management, by a committee, or by a designated strategy manager. Finally, you will discuss how to review a strategy and learn from mistakes in how it was implemented.
  • Week five: You will engage in a reflective exercise.

This five-week course is fully online, so that you can study at a pace that suits your lifestyle. You will not be required to attend live sessions, ensuring flexibility for your schedule. The course consists of five weeks of content, including four weeks of teaching and a final week for completing a personal learning plan. Learning content is delivered primarily through pre-recorded video lectures and online activities.

Each week, there will be a recorded 90-minute webinar available, focusing on key topics. These webinars are accessible at any time for your convenience.

We understand that online learning might be a new experience for some. Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is intuitive, accessible, and easy to navigate. A dedicated programme coordinator will be available to assist with any technical difficulties or questions about learning online.

At the start of the course, we provide short orientation videos to familiarise you with the platform and course format.

This course is suitable for anyone in the healthcare sector who wishes to understand strategy; may be leading strategic planning; or wishes to more meaningfully input into their organisation's strategy.

Dr Louise O'Nolan

Dr Louise O’Nolan is currently the Deputy CEO for Academic Affairs and Registrar at Bahrain Polytechnic. As the Deputy CEO, she is responsible for the development and implementation of institutional and national strategy, accreditation, industry relations, managing budgets, new programme development, quality management, and growing the institution.

She has held many senior management roles across different sectors, giving her a valuable insight into how textbook knowledge of finance and strategy can be translated into practical skills, to be learned by any professional to improve their management skillset.

Dr Louise started her career in the technology sector during the emergence of commercial cloud computing, working at Google for a number of years in different roles. Later, she worked in technology consulting internationally, pulling together elements of finance and strategy for technology products. She has held a number of roles in higher education internationally from leading courses, managing academic quality functions and institutional accreditation. She has worked with institutions and boards of management as an advisor on strategic management.

Most recently she was a director at a national education reform office with responsibility for system performance, working with policymakers, academics, investors and other stakeholders to design and implement national strategies for education. In that role, she led up national large-scale strategy development, national strategy implementation tracking, stakeholder consultation and funding reform.

She holds a BSc in Computer Science, an MA in International Security, a Graduate Diploma in Project Management and finally a DBA in the area of strategic management and the production of strategic plans.

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive a RCSI Completion Certificate. Achieving this Certificate and earning continuous professional development (CPD) points involves passing weekly MCQs, engaging in online discussions, and participating in reflective exercises, including the completion of a personal action plan. These components are designed to be flexible, allowing you to progress at your own pace while ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

Although this course does not carry credits as per the European Credit Transfer System, it upholds rigorous quality assurance standards to provide an excellent educational experience. The course has been approved by the RCSI Professional Development and Practice Committee and is accredited for CPD points in line with the Irish Medical Council guidelines. Participants seeking recognition in other jurisdictions should verify the applicability of these CPD points as per their local requirements.

Note: RCSI accepts no obligation to refund any fee, or part thereof, in respect of a participant who chooses to withdraw from or does not complete a course.

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