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SWOT analysis: The analytical method in the process of planning and its application in the development of orthopaedic hospital department

Author(s): Terzić Zorica | Vukašinović Zoran | Bjegović-Mikanović Vesna | Jovanović Vesna | Janičić Radmila

Journal: Srpski Arhiv za Celokupno Lekarstvo
ISSN 0370-8179

Volume: 138;
Issue: 7-8;
Start page: 473;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: strategic planning | managerial tools | SWOT analysis

Introduction. SWOT analysis is a managerial tool used to evaluate internal and external environment through strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Objective. The aim was to demonstrate the application of the SWOT analysis on the example of the Department for Paediatric Orthopaedics and Traumatology at the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery 'Banjica' in Belgrade. Methods. Qualitative research was conducted during December 2008 at the Department for Paediatric Orthopaedics and Traumatology of the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery 'Banjica' by applying the focus group technique. Participants were members of the medical staff and patients. In the first phase of the focus group brainstorming was applied to collect the factors of internal and external environment, and to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, respectively. In the second phase the nominal group technique was applied in order to reduce the list of factors. The factors were assessed according to their influence on the Department. Factors ranked by the three point Likert scale from 3 (highest impact) to 1 (lowest impact). Results. The most important strengths of the Department are competent and skilled staff, high quality of services, average hospital bed utilization, the Department providing the educational basis of the School of Medicine, satisfied patients, pleasant setting, and additional working hours. The weaknesses are: poor spatial organization, personnel unmotivated to refresh knowledge, lack of specifically trained personnel, inadequate sanitary facilities, and uncovered services by the Insurance Fund, long average hospital stay, and low economic status of patients. The opportunities are: legislative regulations, formed paediatric traumatology service at the City level, good regional position of the Institute, and extension of referral areas. The threats are: absent Department autonomy in the personnel policy of the Institute, competitions within the Institute, impossibility to increase the Department capacities, inadequate nutrition, low opportunities for expert training of the personnel, outdated equipment, and presence of informal payments. Conclusion. SWOT analysis is a frequently used managerial instrument, which enables the systematic approach in decision making process.
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