Healthcare Planning and Evaluation

Learning Plan 4

Based on the previous discussion, it is argued that strategic planning starts from the analysis of factors influencing organizational performance. Presently, there are a number of tools to conduct such analysis, but SWOT is deemed the most effective approach to translate medical evidence into individualized medical strategies (Von Kodolitsch et al., 2015). Given this statement, the response presents SWOT analysis for the American Heart Association environment. The analysis is further incorporated into the EFE chart. It is argued that a combination of analytical tools provides insights into strategies that could reinforce the American Heart Association’s sustainable competitiveness.

SWOT Analysis

The main idea behind SWOT analysis is that an organization’s performance is shaped by factors that belong to one of the following groups: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016). It is argued that the American Heart Association’s competitiveness is preconditioned by such strengths as a recognized brand and partnerships with other national and international organizations (American Heart Association, 2017). However, these strengths can be mitigated by a number of weaknesses, including insufficient number of employees and small budget (Gonzalez et al., n. d.). Obviously, American Heart Association could respond to these weaknesses if the following opportunities are considered: Potential for more partnerships and volunteer corps and increased engagement with publics (Gonzalez et al., n. d.). Despite the apparent oddity, increase in the percentage of population who already has heart concern or aware of it, is deemed an opportunity for the American Heart Association. Indeed, presently cardiovascular diseases have already become the major health concern in the United States, since they account for 1 in every 4 deaths annually (CDC, 2015). This means that the number of Americans who seek the American Heart Association’s support is constantly growing. However, to maximize the opportunities, American Heart Association is recommended to consider threats. It is argued that the major threats facing the association are as follows: Competition from similar organizations, weak economy and empathy exhaustion (Gonzalez et al., 2015). The mentioned threats can potentially decrease the American Heart Association’s funds.

EFE Analysis

SWOT analysis is further used to draw an external factor evaluation (EFE) chart. The objective of this analytical instrument is twofold. On the one hand, the EFE is used to evaluate opportunities and threats facing the American Heart Association. On the other hand, the EFE assesses management response to the external factors, influencing the organization’s performance (Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016). Application of the EFE instrument results in the chart below.

Chart 1

External Factor Evaluation for the American Heart Association

1. Potential for new partnerships0.2
2. Potential for more volunteer corps0.05
3. Increased engagement with public0.05
4. Increase in the number of Americans, having heart concern or being aware of it0.3
1. Competition from similar organizations0.1
2. Weak economy0.2
3. Empathy exhaustion0.1
    Total Weight1.00

At the same time, the American Heart Association’s response to the above factors can be assessed as “3”, meaning that it is above average, but there is some place for improvement.


Based on the conducted analysis, it is argued that the American Heart Association has a number of strengths that distinguish it from the background of similar organizations. The association can further strengthen its competitiveness by maximizing the benefits facing it. Evidently this aim is achieved through adequate management response to external factors, influencing the American Heart Association.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). Heart disease facts. Retrieved from

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

Gonzalez, R., Swenson, J., Zamora, A., Padon, C., & Cheng, G. (n. d.). American Heart Association. Tweets for beats. Retrieved from

Von Kodolitsch, Y., Benrhardt, A. M., Robinson, P. N., Kolbel, T., Reichenspruner, H., Debus, S., & Detter, C. (2015). Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a tool for translating evidence into individualized medical strategies (I-SWOT). Aorta, 3(3), 98-107.