Essay Sample: Appreciative Inquiry and SWOT Analysis in Healthcare

Published: 2022-12-13
Essay Sample: Appreciative Inquiry and SWOT Analysis in Healthcare
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Data analysis Information technologies Healthcare SWOT analysis
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1473 words
13 min read

Appreciative inquiry is a theory for organizing and changing methods of social systems. The appreciative inquiry aims at generating a collective image of the current and the better future of an organization by the utility of the new or existing resources (Moorer, 2014). In a health care unit, AI is applied to improve patients experience in the current setting and also in the future. The 4-D, model has been structured into four pieces clearly outlining the stages of change. The first stage is Discovery, which is establishing the best practices, and resources available. The stage is aimed at identifying the strengths of the Unit. Secondly, it is dreaming and involves further evaluating the best possible practices to be enacted by health care to achieve its ideal state. Thirdly is designing, and is drafting of a route map to achieve the intended ideal state. The fourth and the last stage is delivering, which is the implementation of the proposed changes and usually the last element (Richer, 2012).

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The paper will dwell on the application of Appreciative Inquiry to propose a change in a health care facility. Discovery and dreaming, the elements of the 4-D concept will be discussed to create an idea, and propose the change that needs to be implemented by the health care unit. The overall experience is to enhance the best service delivery to be patients. Also, the unit SWOT analysis to be proposed about the proposed change.

Problem Statement

In our scenario, health care is mired with the low patient to nurse ratio. The state is not ideal for establishing the best possible patient experience, especially when handling violent patients. Straining of staff is common due to rampant chaos associated with patients under duress and who often fail to contain them. The ideal solution for the unit is ensuring a patient to staff ratio of 1:1. However, this can be challenging due to the costs needed to sustain the new staff. More so, without proper planning and incorporation of modern facilities, increasing the number of staffs will aggravate the congestion problem when the patients admitted is low. A clear strategic plan which will ensure quality assurance and control through proper staffing and patient handling while minimizing expenditures on staff is explained. The paper will focus on the restructuring of the patient level facilities to ensure an organized, safe health care unit.

Ideal Health Care Unit

It is the first stage of evaluating the health care unit and making discoveries on the best achievable practices for ensuring safety and quality service delivery. Every health care should be safe for patients and the operating staff. Safety is realized when the care unit has adequate resources in terms of equipment, adequate personnel, doctors, nurses and technicians, and the application of modern technology. Nursing staff should handle all the available patients without straining themselves. Quality of service can be achieved through teamwork; all the stakeholders must be involved in the formulation of policies which will ensure quality management. Through public participation and benchmarking the unit can achieve a level five status.

Dream Stage

It is the second stage of the Appreciative Inquiry cycle and involves taking advantage of the existing weaknesses to envision a transformed facility. The following possible solutions are laid down to address the low staff to patient ratio. First is the adoption of the electronic health management system. Second is increasing the capacity of the facility. Thirdly is the addition of new staff and nurse training on patient handling, and fourthly portioning of the level units into smaller portions, and patient grouping according to their illness intensity (Rue, 2010).

Technology is important in the health system. Besides health record management, technology can be utilized as a monitoring tool for the control of patient behavior. Additional staff recruited, whereby each patient will be allocated an individual nurse, and nurse training on the drafted plans are part of the dream cycle. Management personnel will evaluate these strategies, their suitability, acceptability, and feasibility evaluated before proceeding into the design stage.

Role of Leadership in Discover and Dream Stages of AI Cycle

Leaders are the one who identifies the opportunities for an organization or an entity based on the challenges and strengths. They come up with ideas and roll out plan into the system. Strategies are discussed among the management team and then relayed to the nurses for their opinions and feedback which when received are to be evaluated accordingly. The cause and effects of the addition of extra staff on health unit resources, both financially or on stakeholders in the short-run or long-run are clearly stated. Managers hold frequent meetings to discuss the raised issues until a unanimous decision is made.

SWOT Analysis of a Health Care system

SWOT denotes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and weaknesses of an organization or a firm. SWOT analysis allows exploration of the competencies of the facility to establish a competitive advantage among the health services providers.

The health unit has highly skilled staff and infrastructure and among its strengths. Available resources can be effectively utilized to deliver high-quality services and promote patients experience. The availability of subsidies from the government can be utilized to expand its capacity in terms of infrastructure and human resources. Available infrastructure such as the level units and equipment can be leveraged from restructuring and adequate planning.

The major weakness of the unit is the inability to sustain the congestion. The staff units cannot adequately service the patients, and more often the patients are restrained by the use of crude devices to prevent them from disturbing colleagues. Additionally, the staff to patient ratio is quite low and therefore subjecting staff into harsh working conditions.

Strength and weaknesses can be transformed into rich opportunities for the facility. The available infrastructure can be restructured to enable effective and efficient workflow and safety. The first option is to employ new technologies which can relieve the majority of the nursing staff manual work and therefore concentrate on patient handling. CCTV cameras can be installed to monitor patient behaviors remotely. Expansion of the facility in terms of the capacity and the labor force is viable by the use of government subsidies. To mitigate the influence of the patients with hostile behavior, developing an isolation unit from the patients is mild.

All the strengths and weakness of the facility can be translated into viable opportunities. However, the threats to implementing these strategies are economics. Finance meant for the delivery of the services are diverted into countering the effect of patient congestion as a result of low staff to patient ratio. Another major impact is the fluctuating number of patients admitted. Increasing the number of staff can help mitigate the problem at the moment; however if in case the patient number declines it will lead to underutilization of the nursing staff. Also, in case of the rise in admitted patients with physical might prompt the management to higher new staff. In addition to the recruitment of new staff, adoption of current technologies will be subjected to obsoleteness in future. To summarize, the major threat is future uncertainties.

Comparison of SWOT Analysis and Appreciative Inquiry

The SWOT analysis evaluates health care competitiveness and potential challenges in the delivery of competent services. On the other hand, Appreciative inquiry is a cycle of management changes to gain the possible achievable positive attributes in service delivery. Appreciative inquiry involves utility of the existing SWOT advantage to realize a five-star level.

For the health care Centre, the SWOT analysis has been done to show the challenges experienced due to the effect of congestion as a result of staff shortage especially while handling hostile patients. There are strengths which the company can capitalize on solving this problem and the threats to achieving this objective. The Appreciative Inquiry will take into account the restructuring of the existing resources utilizing the health care strengths without the addition of the new employees. The technique involves brainstorming among all the stakeholders and taking a course which can achieve social change. It is the utilization of available resources to achieve the best possible outcomes.


The appreciative inquiry is a powerful psychological tool for cultural transformation, strategic planning, and leadership development with the aim of ensuring quality management. AI allows the stakeholders to appreciate the negatives and positives in the health care unit and how to utilize these factors using the SWOT tool to improve the quality of services.


Moorer, K. (2014). Using appreciative inquiry as a framework to enhance the patient experience. Retrieved from, M. (2012).

Appreciative Inquiry in Health Care. Retrieved from, M., Bobiak, S., & Litaker, D. (2010).

Appreciative Inquiry for Quality Improvement in Primary Care Practices. Retrieved from

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