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Strategic Planning for Labor and Delivery Care Setting Report

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Updated: Sep 18th, 2022


The labor and delivery care setting is an integral part of the healthcare system that continues to evolve. As a result, nurses and physicians take on a new set of specific requirements, including effective communication, respect for patients’ fundamental rights, as well as various professional skills. With more than 3.7 million babies having been born in 2018 in the US alone, labor and delivery remain a crucial healthcare setting (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019).

The main concern related to safe delivery includes the comprehensiveness of care (Bauchat et al., 2016). Patients expect nurses to be excellent communicators who can address some of the preconceived notions they might have about certain birth plans, pain levels, and labor experiences.

In order to establish a clear and concise framework that would ensure the quality and safety of delivery and labor, strategic planning needs to be implemented. The research conducted by Esfahani et al. (2018) identifies strategic management as “a course of actions to achieve organization’s vision and long term strategic goals using rational, logical and systematic approach” (p. 563).

Strategic plans are positively related to overall performance, including patients’ engagement and employees’ productivity (Esfahani et al., 2018). This report is going to address the variety of organizational goals and specific timelines in relation to the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach.

Strategic Goals, Outcomes, and Timelines

The AI leadership model explores the strengths of an existing labor and delivery care setting in order to develop a sustainable strategic plan and shift the culture in a more positive direction. The short-term goal to further progress in addressing patients’ individual concerns is improving the quality of communication between primary care providers and patients.

The 1-year outcome would include the establishment of online educational initiatives and professional networks that could present a number of effective communication techniques for nurses and doctors. This goal supports a much bigger (long-term) agenda of creating a nationwide collaboration between executives and independent experts to develop an innovative healthcare delivery model, which would take 5 to 7 years. The potential outcome of such an initiative is the gradual shift of labor and delivery care to being more patient-centered and individual.

Another short-term goal with a timeline of 2 to 3 years is the development and successful integration of detailed Patient Safety Files. They would consist of doctors’ justifications of major medical decisions, referencing relevant protocols and patient safety guidelines. The outcome is the collection of necessary care safety data.

The long-term goal that directly depends on the latter one is the optimization of data collection in the labor and delivery care setting. One of the challenges of assessing such insights is the attribution variability of medical decision making, problem solving, and reasoning. The process of automation of essential data related to the quality and safety of care would take up to 10 years.

The Mission, Vision, and Values of the Care Setting

The labor and delivery care setting is the first medical environment a person is introduced to. The vision of a high-quality maternity care system is that in which women receive all the necessary medical information and supportive care (National Partnership for Women & Families, 2020). Nurses can provide emotional support and medical information using effective communication techniques, which is why the goals related to online courses and a nationwide medical collaboration are important.

The mission of labor and delivery setting is providing effective, timely, and safe care and improving its quality according to patients’ needs and feedback (National Partnership for Women & Families, 2020). Comprehensive and safe care is the main focus of the integration of Patient Safety Files and the optimization of data collection.

The values of the healthcare setting are similar to those of other departments and institutions. However, maternity care focuses more on integrity, transparency, and professional excellence (National Partnership for Women & Families, 2020). Transparency and integrity can be established by improving communication between primary care providers and patients through numerous educational (courses and seminars) as well as organizational (a global collaboration) efforts.

Ethical and Cultural Considerations

Using a goal-based strategic planning model has certain effects on the cultural and ethical environments of healthcare organizations. Childbirth is often considered embarrassing and scary, which is why it is crucial for nursing professionals to start open conversations with patients about the process of giving birth and postpartum care. Choosing to formulate short- and long-term goals based on the AI approach is beneficial to the internal culture of the institution.

Focusing on what is working helps teams to stay positive and inspired to improve. Furthermore, during the design stage of the AI model, employees can take the initiative and present new, creative solutions to existing frameworks. Nurses navigate their professional environments by following a specific Code of Ethics. Ethical considerations in the labor and delivery setting include patient confidentiality and informed consent due to the sensitive issues often associated with childbirth. Both of the issues can be resolved through effective communication between medical professionals and patients, which directly relates to the first two goals presented in this report.

Electronic databases’ usage to optimize data collection mechanisms regarding care safety and patient satisfaction faces legal challenges. Data breaches and the existence of unsecured health information centers put patients at risk of failing to exercise their right to confidentiality (Coventry & Branley, 2018).

As a result, numerous hospitals can be subject to legal action. Potential solutions include the creation of cyber-security departments and relevant government policies. Applicable regulations are primarily the notification requirements implemented by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2009 (Coventry & Branley, 2018).

Online courses and seminars, which serve an important role in communication effectiveness improvement, require healthcare associations and separate hospitals to allocate federal funding. Such initiatives can be considered a waste with more pressing issues threatening the US, including the opioid crisis (Vadivelu et al., 2018). The benefits of communication in the quality of supportive care need to be demonstrated by presenting specific evidence to hospital executives and government officials, which is why the creation of a nationwide medical collaboration, described as the second strategic goal, is crucial.

The Importance of Relevant Leadership

Healthcare professionals’ ability to recognize and assess different leadership styles and theories is highly beneficial in providing coordinated, high-quality care. Terrance Brian Woods (2019) identifies three main leadership theories that can be successfully implemented by employees. Transactional leadership focuses on developing a system of rewards and punishments, which is effective at the beginning of integrating organizational changes.

Short-term goals presented in the report depend on autocratic (transactional) leadership to coordinate followers and ensure they work effectively (Woods, 2019). The transformational theory states that leaders have to inspire employees to reach their full potential and make positive changes in the organization.

Such a democratic managerial approach works for long-term goals since it can help leaders to create a shared organizational agenda and vision. Creating a nationwide collaboration of researches and hospital executives, as well as integrating large-scale data collection software, requires transformational leaders.

In order to achieve the objectives presented in the strategic plan, it is crucial for leaders to address the complexity of professional relationships. According to Woods (2019), the transformational style needs to be combined with transactional management techniques. Situational leadership serves as an adaptive tool for senior staff to both support and direct employees. Situational leaders are flexible because they often adopt different styles to solve various issues (Woods, 2019).

This approach is the most effective for achieving long-term strategic goals of delivering high-quality, patient-centered care to well-informed and satisfied patients. The unpredictability of childbirth makes situational leadership crucial in the labor and delivery care setting.

Evaluation of Essential Leadership Skills

Nurses are primary care providers, which is why the role of a nurse leader is essential. A nurse leader ensures that their colleagues meet the high standards of medical practice. Strategic goals presented in the report are related to nurses’ professional competencies. The process of detailed leadership skills evaluation is integral to the success of the strategic plan developed in the report. Bauchat et al. (2016) identify empathy and compassion as the main strengths of nursing professionals.

The AI approach focuses on the further development of communication skills, empathy, and emotional intelligence. All of them are important to sustain a patient-centered healthcare delivery model, which is the main desirable outcome of organizational goals identified in the report. Organizational discipline and adaptability, on the other hand, prove to be challenging to nurse leaders.

Therefore, a mix of transformational and transactional leadership styles is crucial to create effective leaders who could potentially participate in the strategic plan. A great healthcare leader combines communication, compassion, and organization in order to successfully monitor and innovate the safe delivery of care.


According to the Appreciative Inquiry approach, strategic planning and goal setting for nursing professionals have to be based on what is working the best in patient care. Academic research co-identifies the integration of a patient-centered approach and effective communication as the main strengths of nursing practice.

The labor and delivery care setting requires medical professionals to be accommodating and understanding of patients’ needs, which is why communication is the focus of two of the four strategic goals presented in the report. The safety of care is another primary concern that is addressed in one short- and one long-term goal.

Strategic planning in the labor and delivery setting has specific cultural, ethical, and regulatory implications. Patient confidentiality is important from both an ethical and legal perspective. While nurses regulate their moral actions in accordance with an official Code of Ethics, governmental structures like the HHS create legal requirements to prevent electronic data breaches.

The combination of transactional and transformational leadership styles is integral to achieve both short- and long-term objectives. Nurse leaders need to be authentic communicators and have great organizational skills in order to ensure the high quality and safety of coordinated care.


Bauchat, J. R., Seropian, M., & Jeffries, P. R. (2016). Communication and empathy in the patient-centered care model—why simulation-based training is not optional. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(8), 356–359. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). National center for health statistics: Birth data. Web.

Coventry, L., & Branley, D. (2018). Cybersecurity in healthcare: A narrative review of trends, threats and ways forward. Maturitas, 113, 48–52. Web.

Esfahani, P., Mosadeghrad, A. M., & Akbarisari, A. (2018). The success of strategic planning in health care organizations of Iran. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, 31(6), 563–574. Web.

National Partnership for Women & Families (2020). . Web.

Vadivelu, N., Kai, A. M., Kodumudi, V., Sramcik, J., & Kaye, A. D. (2018). The opioid crisis: A comprehensive overview. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 22(3). Web.

Woods, T. B. (2019). . American Journal of Management Studies, 4(1). Web.

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