To explore the current and pending strategic agenda of Ontario hospitals (the largest consumers of the provincial healthcare budget), a survey of Ontario acute care hospital CEOs was conducted in January 2004. The survey, with an 82% response rate, identifies 29 strategic priorities under seven key strategic themes consistent across different hospital types. These themes include (1) human resources cultivation, (2) service integration and partnerships, (3) consumer engagement, (4) corporate governance and management, (5) organizational efficiency and redesign, (6) improved information use for decision-making, (7) patient care management. The extent to which an individual hospital's control over strategic resolutions is perceived may affect multilevel strategic priority-setting and action-planning. In addition to supporting ongoing development of meaningful performance measures and information critical to strategic decision-making, this study's findings may facilitate a better understanding of hospitals' key resource commitments, the extent of competition and collaboration for key resources, the perceived degree of individual control over strategic issue resolution and where systemic resolutions may be required.
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