Healthcare Planning and Evaluation

Learning Plan 3

Similar to any other industry, health care is developing under various factors. To verify the statement, this response provides a brief PEST analysis for the health care industry. Additionally, the response presents a competitive market benchmark assessment to demonstrate how understanding of political, economic, social and technological issues can shape competitiveness in the healthcare sector. It is argued that these analyses provide a better understanding of the forces, shaping competitiveness in a selected health care organization – American Heart Association.

PEST Analysis of HealthCare Industry and Impact on the Selected Organization

Recently, conducting PEST analysis has become “a recognizable stage of health service strategic development and planning mechanisms” (Health Knowledge, 2017, p. 1). Conducting this analysis is a way to understand a myriad of factors shaping healthcare industry. For instance, political factors, influencing the industry, include, but are not limited to, government stability, freedom of press and tax policy (Health Knowledge, 2017). At the same time, healthcare industry is under the influence of economic factors: Current and project economic growth, unemployment, labor costs and globalization (Health Knowledge, 2017). In turn, economic factors are reinforced or aggravated by socio-cultural, including population growth, aging, lifestyle choices and press attitude (Health Knowledge, 2017). Lastly, the industry is impacted by technological factors, for instance, emerging technologies and reduction in communication costs.

It is argued that all the mentioned factors have implications for American Heart Association’s strategic development. This is because understanding of political, economic, socio-cultural and technological advancement helps American Heart Association develop strategies that receive the greatest response from stakeholders, thus are likely to become successful. For instance, understanding the socio-cultural factor of aging encourages American Heart Association focus on the needs of elderly who presently constitute 46 million people (Mather, 2016). In turn, comprehension of technological factors encourages American Heart Association use online platforms as the most effective means to reach considerable part of the public. Presently, 87 percent of Americans use the internet (Anderson & Perrin, 2016). So, the overwhelming majority of the organization’s customers are likely to retrieve information from the web. Evidently, these are just a few examples demonstrating the relationship between understanding of external factors and the organization’s sustainable competitiveness.

Benchmark Analysis

Information retrieved from PEST analysis is helpful to conduct competitive benchmark market analysis. The idea behind this analysis is that realizing of the position of competitors in the market is a prerequisite for effective business strategy (Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016). The analysis provides an understanding of five factors, shaping an organization’s competitiveness: Product/service, finance, productivity, human resources and facility (Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016). Given its limited scope, this response will only examine Product/service group of factors, preconditioning American Heart Association’s competitiveness. It is argued that American Heart Association stands against the background of competitors due to the provision of unique services. The services that are worth mentioning are support, education, research and community partnerships. The uniqueness of these services is in the fact that, while a substantial percentage of healthcare organizations works to deal with the consequences of already existing problems, American Heart Association seeks to prevent them from education and support activities. Experts of American Health Association (2017) believe that “Good habits are the key to good health” (p. 1). Evidently, such philosophy is the major explanation why American Heart Association manages to win customer loyalty and maintain sustainable competitiveness.


American Heart Association (2017). Educator. Retrieved from          

Anderson, M., & Perrin, A. (2016). 13% of Americans don’t use the internet. Who are they? Retrieved from

Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives (2016). Strategic analysis for healthcare. Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives.      

Health Knowledge (2017). The impact of political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental and other external influences. Retrieved from

Mather, M. (2016). Fact sheet: Aging in the United States. Retrieved from