Performance Measurement in Health Care
The world of health care is always changing and rightfully so with all the changes in the business world why would health care remain the same? However, despite some long-practiced, tried and true methods of assessing health care quality such as Donabedian’s structures method which focuses on processes and outcomes as well as the inception of the continuous improvement model and the balanced scorecard method the professionals of the health care world have learned a thing or two.
In order to deliver effective and quality service to all customers as well as keep an accurate account of financial operations, certain criteria can be evaluated to make certain that performance standards are measured accurately.
The Correct Performance Measures
A truly effective measurement system involves many components that need to be aligned. The best way to do this is to use a backwards method, instead of choosing the measures first, it is often more beneficial to look at the situation and take into account the current procedures first then look at how they can be changed and measured more accurately, hence then developing the measures. For many years the health care industry has put a firm emphasis on financial measures, however with the many changes in the business world to focus on leadership, the healthcare industry is trying to do the same. There are three basic purposes that should be kept in mind when developing a worthwhile measurement plan, such as strategic, diagnostic and operational. Let’s dive into these purposes a little further, I like to think of these procedures as the triad to measuring performance effectively. Strategic measures are used to help “drive” or push certain strategies into action. Many times measures will sit stagnant for a while before being approached and eventually implemented. Strategic methods are the opposite; they are ready for action and challenge the current mindsets to help change the organizational culture as a whole. Next, the measures must also be diagnostic, meaning that they can be accurately evaluated. Think of this like when a vehicle is having an issue, you bring it to the repair ship and a technician will most likely hook up the vehicle to diagnostics to help diagnose the problem effectively. Lastly, operational measures are key. Operational basically means that the tactics being used are working and are reviewed consistently to ensure continuous improvement.
The truth is that many healthcare professionals are uncomfortable with the notion of leading and managing health care business issues. However, health care employees should be motivated within their leadership roles and take into consideration many of the cause and effect relationships unique to the healthcare business. Some great ways to lead effectively and appropriately include the management of time as well as activities to help promote and strengthen positive interdependency. In addition, certain measures should also be developed and implemented to help build into that interdependency to add value to the health care team as a unit. Also, it is very important to keep tabs on where the leadership movement is in its development so analyzing performance is also a huge component to reflect upon.
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