Hospital ponders its mission

As Whidbey General Hospital immerses itself in the strategic planning process, facility executives and staff are focusing first on constructing a mission statement.

Scott Rhine, hosital chief executive officer, told the hospital board recently that formulating a clear mission statement should be the starting point for the planning process that will guide the hospital for the next five years.

“We need to figure out what we want to make sure we’re doing as an organization,” Rhine said. “We need to think about the scope, the timeframe, where we are heading. I really do believe we need to hit that hard in the next month.”

Dr. Chris Bibby, chief of staff, and Commissioner Dr. Paul Zaveruha said the mission statement idea is sound, but bringing physicians into the discussion could be ineffective, as the professionals would simply lose interest. Rhine said he would create several draft statements to act as a discussion starting point.

“We need to be able to discuss this with management and staff,” Rhine said. “We don’t want to make it so complex that it’s not applicable. This is for the community as well. And what we don’t want to do is spend a lot of time creating a document that will sit on the shelf.”

The hospital already has a mission statement, Rhine said, but it could be improved.

The strategic planning process will also include identifying critical organization issues facing the hospital.

“We’ll ask the medical staff to address that,” Rhine said.

In establishing key goals and objectives, the hospital CEO discussed the Hoshin planning process used by Hewlett Packard. Hoshin is a systematic planning methodology for defining long-range key objectives.

“There are some interesting concepts that we could examine,” Rhine said.

Community input is being encouraged and solicited as the hospital undergoes the strategic planning process. Comments can be sent to Rhine at

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