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Strategic operations as the heartbeat of healthcare excellence: cultivating a culture of strategic fit in health institutions
  1. Benjamin Laker1,
  2. Vijay Pereira2
  1. 1Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour, University of Reading Henley Business School - Greenlands Campus, Henley-on-Thames, UK
  2. 2People and Organisations, NEOMA Business School - Campus de Reims, Reims, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Benjamin Laker, University of Reading, Reading, UK; benjamin.laker{at}

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In an era where the healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving, leaders of health and care institutions are required to navigate a complex web of challenges, from regulatory changes to technology disruption and patient expectations. Central to addressing these challenges is the concept of Service Operations Strategy (SOS)—an often-undervalued framework that is critical to service delivery excellence.1 This commentary aims to elucidate the key aspects of SOS that leaders need to integrate within their management practices to enhance organisational performance and patient care.

Service operations strategy: the core of healthcare delivery

In today’s rapidly transforming healthcare landscape, the significance of SOS has become more crucial than ever.2 3 This innovative approach transforms routine operational tasks into a dynamic force driving not just service excellence but also organisational competitiveness. In the complex and challenging environment of healthcare, leaders face the dual task of ensuring patient well-being while adeptly managing a wide array of workplace challenges. SOS emerges as a crucial beacon, guiding the reimagining of operations not as mundane administrative duties but as central elements in the pursuit of service delivery excellence. It is a strategy that involves a profound understanding of the intricate interplay between various operational components and their impact on overall service quality.

The practical relevance of SOS is particularly pronounced in the context of National Health Service (NHS) England’s policy initiatives, with the NHS Improving Patient Care Together (IMPACT) programme serving as a prime example.4–6 This programme highlights the critical role of operational strategies in bringing about substantial improvements in patient care and organisational efficiency. By aligning every operational decision with the broader objectives of the NHS, this strategy enhances the overall quality and efficiency of healthcare services. It acts as a vital instrument in implementing policies that have a tangible and positive impact on healthcare delivery. This integration of strategic operations into …

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  • Contributors BL and VP both contributed equally to this commentary.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.