Two types of goals exist: official goals and operational goals. Official goals are clear statements to define the purpose of the organization. These can be expressed as public statements or mission statements and strive to establish credibility, provide legitimacy and justify action of the organization. Operational goals reflect the actual intention of an organization, by implementing short-term goals to achieve the long-term official goals.
These goals will provide specific actions intended to achieve the organization’s purpose (Meinhard, n. ). Let’s use the US public health system as an example. The U. S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has set out a strategic plan in hopes of achieving strategic goals within US. These goals are to strengthen health care, advance scientific knowledge and innovations, advance the health, safety and well being of the American people, and ensure efficiency, transparency, accountability and effectiveness for all HHS programs (HHS, 2015).
Among each goal the HHS as additionally, indicated target objectives to help achieve these operational goals at the local level. These official goals are established at the federal level within the HHS, which will undergo the legislative process to official be established as public health policy. These official goals are then adopted by every state (or most of them) and every state matches those policies with their own and moves these goals and objectives to local health departments with the purpose of serve the community.
The overall official goal is to improve health outcomes within the community and to reach underserve population with intention of allowing them opportunities to improve their overall health. The local health department administrators are now challenged to construct operational goals to meet the official goals of the HHS. The process of setting healthcare goals is by no means an easy task, it requires the collaboration of stakeholders for the purpose of achieving better health outcomes throughout the US.
The most important part of establishing a goal is to identify the problem. Problems in healthcare are not transparent, rather they require collection of data over a period of time to generate statistically vaild data for the purpose of forming a better hypothesis of the problem. Healthcare goal setting occurs by implementing policies with specific goals and target objectives for the purpose of improving quality of care and standard of care among individuals.
Additionaly, these goals allow for determine the burden of disease, DALYs and the effect disease can have on a population as it relates to the society as it whole. The process of healthcare goal setting in the US, is compose of governmental and legislative oversight to review data and identify problem areas within the system and establish health polices and fiscal year budgets for the purpose of providing services within the community. Management’s role in establishing goals in the public health sector is limited.
Given the official goal are well defined and established public health management is often left to work within the limitation of the HHS official goals. Operational goals do allow for management to support the official goals, though individual views on how these goals should be accomplish can cause disagreement among administrators. Meanwhile, other healthcare sectors have more freedom to establish official goals and work within operational goals. The public sector does not allow for this liberty due in large part to public tax funding being allocated for operational public health programs.