Abstract: The dominant system-level strategic priorities facing Ontario hospitals were elicited and validated. Researchers employed a multi-stage survey and focus group process to solicit the opinions of senior hospital managers and other healthcare stakeholders. Four shared, system-level priorities emerged: (i) improved clinical and staff recruitment; (ii) stronger inter-hospital partnership and vertical integration along the continuum of care; (iii) improved patient safety; and (iv) the implementation of decision support systems. A subsequent CEO validation survey showed strong endorsement of these system priorities. The authors conclude that a survey, focus group, and validation process can reveal shared system priorities and can highlight emergent organizational strategies designed to resolve them. This process, in which a hospital learns of the priorities facing other hospitals in a system, is a potentially useful managerial tool to promote "strategic synapse"-whereby management can adjust internal organizational strategy and local scorecards to align with shared system priorities.
Adalsteinn D. Brown, DPhil, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada.
L. Miin Alikhan, MHSc, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada.
Neil Seeman, JD, MPH, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Canada. E-mail: email@example.com.