SWOT analysis for a hospital or medical center

SWOT analysis for a hospital or medical center

Do you run a clinic and want to do a SWOT analysis? here is a detailed guide on how to conduct a SWOT analysis for hospitals or health centers.

To ensure that a hospital or medical center (and virtually any other form of business) is performing at its best, certain adjustments need to be made from time to time. However, you cannot randomly make changes to various aspects of your hospital or medical center just because changes are needed.

First, you will need to identify the areas that need to be changed. A number of techniques can be used to identify areas where adjustments need to be made. One of these methods is SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis assesses an organization from a neutral perspective by discussing in detail the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the organization.

Steps to perform a SWOT analysis in a hospital or health center

Initially, SWOT analysis was developed for a comprehensive analysis of companies from other industries, but over time people who saw its benefits led to its use in the healthcare industry. Below are the steps to perform a SWOT analysis in a hospital or health facility.

1. Data gathering: The very first step in performing a SWOT analysis is to collect and evaluate key data. This could include the health of the community, the current state of medical technology, or sources of health funding. Once the relevant (and correct) data has been compiled and analyzed, the capabilities of the organization are assessed.

2. Categorize the data collected: Next, you’ll need to break down the data you’ve been able to collect into four categories: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). The strengths and weaknesses of an organization are internal factors, while opportunities and threats are usually the result of external factors playing a role.

and. Internal factors: strengths and weaknesses come both from within and from things you can control. Strengths are useful and weaknesses are harmful.

Strengths: it is your capabilities and resources that can form the basis of a clear competitive advantage. You have to ask; What are your main strengths? How can we best use them and take advantage of each strength? Your strengths may include:

  • new and / or innovative service
  • opportunities or cost advantages
  • cultural ties
  • exceptional reputation
  • other aspects that add value
  • specialized knowledge and / or experience
  • excellent location or geographic advantage

Weak sides: these are areas where you are not very good at and need improvement, or should be avoided altogether. You have to ask; eliminate or overcome this weakness? Weaknesses can sometimes be a lack of certain strengths, and in some cases a weakness can be the flip side of one of your strengths. Weaknesses can include:

  • lack of marketing plan
  • damaged reputation
  • gaps in capabilities or service areas
  • technological backwardness
  • problems with management or staff
  • vulnerability
  • poor location or geographic barriers
  • undifferentiated service lines

b. External factors: these factors come from the outside and usually represent an opportunity that you have not yet seized, or a factor that can turn into a weakness if not eliminated immediately or in the near future. Opportunities are useful, while threats are harmful.

Capacities: Besides new or important trends, what are the other external opportunities and how can we best use or take advantage of them? Examples may include:

  • market released by a competitor
  • availability of new technologies
  • changes in the profile or needs of the population
  • Competitor vulnerabilities
  • lack of dominant competition
  • a new market segment offering increased profits
  • new vertical, horizontal or niche markets

Threats: can include anything that hinders your success. No practice is immune to threats, but too many people overlook, ignore, or downplay these threats, often at a high cost Ask: What can be done to mitigate each threat? Could a threat become an opportunity? Threats can include:

  • a competitor has an innovative product or service
  • new competitor (s) in your domestic market
  • unfavorable changes in pay or rules
  • modify insurance plans and / or contracts of major employers
  • competitors have excellent access to distribution channels
  • economic changes
  • loss of key personnel or partners
  • new or increased competition
  • seasonality
  • changes in market demand or link sources

3. SWOT Matrix: You will need to develop a SWOT Matrix for each business option considered.

4. Implement the results: The final steps of a health SWOT analysis include integrating your analysis into decision making and determining which option is best suited to the organization’s overall strategic plan.

7 rules for a successful SWOT analysis

  1. Be specific: Avoid gray areas, unclear descriptions or unclear definitions.
  2. Be objective : seek the opinion of a knowledgeable but objective third party; compare it to your own notes.
  3. To be realistic: Use a down-to-earth perspective, especially when assessing strengths and weaknesses. Be practical in evaluating both sections.
  4. Context of the application: discern where the organization is today and where it could be in the future.
  5. Compare and nuance: Analyze (realistically) your competition, that is, better or worse than your competitors.
  6. Short and simple: Avoid unnecessary complexity and over-analysis.
  7. Update your marketing plan and goals. After identifying the key issues, determine the actions needed to effect the change.

An example of a nursing-based SWOT analysis

Here is an example of a nurse working in a primary care clinic who wants to improve her relationship with her patients. The SWOT analysis will look like this:


  1. Set a goal and measurable results, i.e. less than 50% of patients spend an hour waiting for treatment
  2. Think about the activities you are currently undertaking to encourage partnerships with patients in your clinic.
  3. Perform a SWOT analysis, identify your strengths and realistically assess your current weaknesses. This can only be done with the participation of other nurses, doctors, support staff and patients.
  4. Current analysis identifies factors that can be improved
  5. Identify the opportunities you can create
  6. Make a plan and a set of steps.

The clinic has identified the following objective:

  • Improve partnerships with parents by encouraging patients to visit the clinic and become active members of the community.
  • Result – less than 50% of patients wait more than an hour for treatment

The clinic currently holds an open house once a year. He uses this to encourage patients to visit the clinic and interact with the clinic staff. Here is a first SWOT analysis.


  • Highly qualified clinical staff.
  • A history of successful open house events
  • The clinic adheres to the principles of openness, sharing and engagement to increase patient confidence
  • Patients wishing to participate
  • Local charities ready to participate


  • Nurses are unable to see patients often enough
  • Open days in progress do not increase volunteer activity
  • Insufficient staff time to plan additional activities
  • Staff do not fully understand their role in the patient relationship
  • Strong focus on open events rather than partnerships
  • Services are too extensive for additional activities


  • Active volunteer committee ready to plan and organize events
  • Tools and suggestions may be offered to patients participating in a patient clinic project.
  • Head nurse ready to shorten clinic working hours to free up time for medical staff
  • Use patients to participate in practice sessions


  • Confidentiality is at risk
  • Force the patient to do what he does not want to do

The next step is to develop a plan with the stakeholders.

In conclusion, a SWOT analysis might seem like a very straightforward endeavor, but you should avoid the temptation to rush or do it very haphazardly.

A SWOT analysis is useful for hospitals, medical groups and individuals in private practice. – it allows you to focus your marketing on the areas that bring the most benefits.