"Each organization must create and communicate performance measures that reflect its unique strategy." --Dr. Robert S. Kaplan, Harvard Business School
Performance measurement yields many benefits for the Health System. One benefit is that it provides a structured approach for focusing on entity and department scorecard goals and individual performance results. Another benefit is that measurement provides a mechanism for reporting on performance to upper management. Performance measurement information is used to:
- set goals and standards;
- detect and correct problems;
- manage, describe and improve processes; and
- document accomplishments.
In general, a good measure:
- is a quantitative or qualitative characterization of performance;
- is accepted by and meaningful to the Supervisor and Staff Member;
- tells how well Expected Job Results are being met;
- is simple, understandable, logical and repeatable;
- shows a trend;
- is unambiguously defined;
- allows for economical data collection; and
- is timely.
Above all, however, a good measure drives appropriate action. Several characteristics are associated with the implementation of a successful performance measurement system. Such a system:
- comprises a balanced set of a limited vital few measures;
- produces timely and useful reports at a reasonable cost;
- displays and makes readily available information that is shared, understood, and used by the Health System; and
- supports the Health System's values and the relationship it has with customers, suppliers and stakeholders.
By creating an operational definition for each measure, senior leaders can ensure that these measures are understood by all Staff Members of the Health System. A typical definition includes:
- a specific goal or result;
- data requirements, such as the population the metric will include, the frequency of measurement, and the data source;
- the calculation methodology, including required equations and precise definition of key terms;
- reports in which the data will appear and the graphic presentation that will eventually be used to display the data; and
- any other relevant rationale for the measure.