Financial challenges associated with changes to how healthcare organizations are reimbursed for healthcare services, the cost of implementing new technology and professionals to comply with federal requirements for electronic health records, and the increasing numbers of individuals who cannot pay for their healthcare represent only one issue for healthcare executives in the healthcare delivery system. But it has significant consequences for the viability and solvency of healthcare organizations. Healthcare executives don’t have a crystal ball; however, they do engage in forecasting the future based on what is currently known and examination of trends (Lee, 2015). To do this type of forecasting, healthcare executives are demonstrating techniques found in anticipatory management. According to their seminal research, Ashley and Morrison (1997) reported there are severe consequences for not anticipating future trends in a rapidly changing and complex society. The anticipatory management process they describe begins with scanning the environment to identify issues; creating issues briefs to inform stakeholders; prioritizing issues; assembling the team of experts; creating, implementing, and evaluating action plans and outcomes; and adjusting the course when necessary.
Last week, you compared healthcare delivery and costs in the United States with those in developed countries. This week, you will focus U.S. healthcare executives and how they prioritize the challenges confronting them to minimize the impact to their organizations.