In order to operate efficiently and expand its operations Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield should have a strategy that reflects its vision for long-term development and responds to the difficulties that a company may encounter. The company’s mission, vision, and values statements offer an understanding of the strategic direction that the CEO and management team adhere to when making decisions regarding operations (Ginter, Dunkan, and Swayn (2013). Thus, examining those will provide a perspective on how the establishment plans on delivering its services in the future. This paper aims to review the current mission, vision, and values statements and identify approaches in which those can be altered to help Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in its strategic planning.
Evaluating the mission, vision, and values will offer insight into the general guidelines that the healthcare provider uses for its strategic planning. According to Ginter et al. (2013), mission, vision, and value statements are essential components for any organization as they serve as a guide to a directional strategy. Thus, each element reflects a particular aspect of the process that the company’s executives consider when making decisions.
A mission statement is particularly important as it reflects the purpose of operations that a company performs daily. Ginter et al. (2013) state that “when the purpose of an organization is clearly understood, the complexity of the environment can be reduced” (p. 217). Therefore clearly identifying its mission is crucial for any company as it can be considered its strengths that may be applied to combating difficulties.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield states that their focus is on “transforming health care with trusted and caring solutions” (“Purpose, vision and values”, n.d., para. 1). Thus, the company strives to apply its knowledge and technical resources to help improve the way health care is perceived and delivered in the country. It is especially necessary for the telehealth because it is a new direction and many doubts about the quality or need for such services can be contracted through the company’s purpose as it strives to offer changes to the industry.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield strives to be trusted by patients across the U.S., which is reflected in its vision statement. Ginter et al. (2013) state that it offers a long-term perspective on the direction that the company is taking. The company’s vision is “to be America’s valued health partner” which displays the focus on a particular domain were the establishment plans to continue its operations (“Purpose, vision and values”, n.d., para 2). The company already has many divisions and branches across the country, and according to the statement, it plans to focus on the quality of care in its divisions by adding value to the services.
Values reflect the view on their work by the people employed in Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. According to Ginter et al. (2013), they can present an aspiration of a certain behavior the personnel should adhere to in their work. The healthcare provider distinguishes several aspects in its values statement, according to which the company is accountable, caring, easy-to-do business with, innovative, and trustworthy (“Purpose, vision and values”, n.d., para. 3).
Therefore, it is evident that the establishment wants to ensure that it takes responsibility for its operations. Additionally, the business aspect of cooperation is essential as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield operates across the U.S. with a number of branches, thus efficient work between those and with partners is crucial for the company. The values that display the care for patients are an ability to be caring and trustworthy, which is important for a healthcare organization. Finally, innovation is important considering that the telehealth is dependent on technological components, it is important to be able to follow the new approaches and new solutions that can help enhance the current telehealth industry.
The Gap between the Current State and the Strategy
The gap between the current environment and the desired outcome is reflected in the need to transform the operations of the company in order for it to perform more efficiently by acquiring more knowledge. Firstly, health care providers should adhere to the legislative initiatives, which should result in evaluating the performance of an organization to identify possible changes that can be made. None of the statements that a company makes acknowledge the requirement, thus more information is required.
Additionally, the environment demands an application of innovational technologies to be applied within telehealth to both reduce costs and expand healthcare. Furthermore, the quality should be monitored and continuously improved. According to Scott (2014) to enhance quality, an organization should plan and enable cooperation between team members. For Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield this means that more emphasis on how the branches in different states work together on the overall development is essential.
Considering the current directional strategy of Blue Shield telehealth program and external factors that enable growth reflected in strategic assessment, several knowledge gaps can be an issue for the development. In order to respond to the challenges of the external environment, the company should be fully aware of the technological enhancements that can be applied in telehealth. Additionally, an assessment of the personnel’s familiarity with innovation, and knowledge of how to use computers, smartphones with various applications is required. The data will provide an understanding of what educational strategies should be applied to adhere to the strategic plan.
The level of financial investment that was used to developing telehealth network can display how much the company will have to spend on further expansion of the program across the U.S. Thus, additional information that can improve the analysis is the new hardware and software utilized in interpersonal communication, the level of financial investment, and the ability of personnel to use information technology in their work.
An organization’s ethics can be examined through the evaluation of its mission, vision, and values statements. According to Kronenburg (2014), ethics is among the five most crucial competency areas for healthcare organization leadership. Currently, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s directional strategy implies that it strives to adhere to the ethical standards. It is due to the fact that mission, vision, and values statements provide an understanding that the health care provider seeks to be valued for its work within the U.S.
It can be argued that the company bases its ethical standards on the mentioned values and principals, as according to Flite and Harman (2013) those are essential in components of leadership’s code of ethics. In relation to the development strategy, both the ethical principles and the directional plan emphasize the importance of being trustworthy and valued by the nation. Thus, adherence to basic ethical standards is reflected as a necessity in establishing a proper relationship between healthcare professionals and patients.
Proposed Changes to Mission, Vision, and Values
The current directional strategy fits the healthcare environment that the company operates in as it involves patient-oriented care and innovation. Thus, considering the previous environmental assessment the establishment has chosen the correct direction for the strategic planning. Growth should be a priority for the telehealth program as both the technology that is applied and the service itself are in the process of development. Thus, Blue Cross Blue Shield should make growth the main strategic objective.
Considering the current structure of Anthem Blue Cross together with its Blue Shield program and the applied strategy, specific changes can be made to the planning process. The company should add emphasis on the cooperation of its branches to its vision statement. More attention to innovation within the telehealth program should be in place, by acknowledging innovative approaches in the mission. This change is necessary as technological advancements are the primary aspects of the success of the program. Additionally, the purpose should reflect the company’s expansion to other cities across the U.S. This will ensure that the organization has a competitive advantage as a telehealth provider.
The current organizational structure of the company implies that a unified learning practice should be established as part of the values. This is required as the organization’s subsidiaries operate independently, thus ensuring that the quality of services is standardized and is at the highest level is necessary. Additionally, scorecards and benchmark evaluations tailored towards telehealth should be added to the value statement as those help the company’s executives understand how each branch is performing throughout the year. The proposed changes will ensure that the company’s units continue to operate independently while maintaining quality. Additionally, in regards to the expansion strategy, the alterations will help adequately establish new telehealth providers.
Overall, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s mission, vision, and value statements reflect the organization’s strategy for planning further operations. They provide a clear understanding that the company strives to utilize its resources to enhance its efficiency through innovations. Additionally, the organizations are focused on the business aspect of its operations while stating the need to be trusted by the clients. The changes that can be made to the strategy are an emphasis on cooperation, innovation, and education as part of quality maintenance across subsidiaries.
Flite, C. A., & Harman, L. B. (2013). Code of ethics: Principles for ethical leadership. Perspectives in Health Information Management / AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, 10, 1-11.
Ginter, P. M., Dunkan, W. J., & Swayn, L. E. (2013). Strategic management of health care originations (7th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Kronenburg, M. A. (2014). Evaluating important healthcare management competency areas and preparation for healthcare reforms. International Journal of Business and Public Administration, 11(1), 31-40.
Purpose, vision and values. (n.d.). Web.
Scott, B. C. (2014). Hospital boards – why quality and safety matter. Physician Leadership Journal, 2(1), 62-64.