“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Stanford Medicine took a nod from Aristotle’s playbook when it brought together its three entities—Stanford Health Care (SHC), Stanford School of Medicine (SOM) and Stanford Children’s Health—to create an Integrated Strategic Plan. For the first time, these three entities worked together for more than a year to create an aligned path for their shared future.
The culmination of their work, the Integrated Strategic Plan (ISP), was presented to the Stanford Health Care Board of Directors in the spring and will be presented to the Stanford University Board of Trustees for final approval this summer.“The integrated strategic planning process brings us together as a community of faculty, students and trainees, hospital leadership and staff,” said School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor, MD. “In early 2017, we embarked on a journey to create this plan, assessing how our collective enterprise can best continue to generate and harness extraordinary advances in biomedical research, care, training and technology here at Stanford and beyond.”
‘Human-Centered and Discovery Led’
The decision to create an Integrated Strategic Plan for Stanford Medicine recognizes Stanford’s unique position as an academic medical center that is integrated with a research university and a growing network of tertiary, specialty and primary care facilities. It includes a shared mission, vision and values for Stanford Medicine, all of which are guided by one overarching theme—to be ‘Human Centered and Discovery Led.’
The plan includes three pillars that act as its very foundation—to be Value Focused, Digitally Driven and Uniquely Stanford. By focusing on value, the ISP outlines a path for Stanford Medicine to deliver high-quality, personalized care at a competitive cost. It also sets the organization toward a path to be Digitally Driven, to lead the digital transformation of health and health care delivery. And lastly, the Integrated Strategic Plan hinges on being uniquely Stanford, to harness the power of Stanford’s seven schools to accelerate fundamental discovery, advance translational medicine and improve global health.
“It’s a great time to have an Integrated Strategic Plan to make sure that we are collectively leveraging these opportunities,” said Minor. “We are uniquely poised to be able to bring transformative discoveries to the benefit of our patients here and change the course of biomedicine across the country and around the world.”
The Integrated Strategic Plan was developed with input from thousands of employees. The process began in early 2017, and has been ongoing for more than a year. As a starting point, the ISP team first surveyed staff and faculty at all three entities, an effort that garnered nearly 4,000 responses. That was followed by interviews with more than a hundred members of the Stanford Medicine community. From that data-gathering process, the ISP team honed down its focus to 13 strategic areas and formed workgroups with representatives from all parts of Stanford Medicine. These integrated workgroups provided the in-depth perspective needed to inform strategic planning. Each met independently to assess their current state as a collective enterprise, share best practices, develop key priorities and lay out a vision for a more integrated future.
“As we worked together in this process, I have been so impressed with the collaboration that we achieved,” said David Entwistle, President & CEO of Stanford Health Care. “We did this together as Stanford Medicine, and that is important. The potential for what we can achieve with this plan is quite limitless,” he said. “It creates the opportunity for us to focus on those things that will differentiate us moving forward.”
Throughout the year, leaders from the school and the hospitals held Town Hall meetings and Roundtable discussions to glean employee feedback at every step in the process. In each of these gatherings, they stressed that the Integrated Strategic Plan is a living, breathing document, not something that will sit on a shelf collecting dust. The plan includes key performance indicators that will allow the team to measure progress across strategic priorities and deliverables, and revisit them periodically.
“A critical component to successful execution of our strategy will be an annual planning process,” said Denny Lund, Chief Medical Officer and interim CEO at Stanford Children’s Health. “The outcomes of this process will form a working plan to reflect the evolution of our strategy and provide deeper direction to our entire organization.”
“We face many external pressures and challenges in biomedicine and health care today,” said Minor. “To effectively address those challenges and be true to our mission and values, we have to have an integrated plan and then we have to be able to execute on that plan.”
A ‘shared sense of purpose’
The ISP process uncovered one undisputed truth--Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children’s Health and Stanford School of Medicine are “united by a powerful sense of shared purpose,” said Priya Singh, Chief Strategy Officer for Stanford Health Care and Senior Associate Dean for the School of Medicine. “While we all share a commitment to improving human health, many of us would like more clarity about how we’re going to achieve our vision. The integrated strategic planning process allows us to set out specific goals to create a roadmap for our future.”