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Journal Article: The Importance of Being Measured

Sep 2008

Creating and Sustaining a Strategy-Focused Creating and Sustaining a Strategy-Focused Performance Measurement Process

“Enterprise Performance Management” and “Performance Improvement” are the latest “buzz” activities in many healthcare organizations, engaging the attention and involvement of executive leaders, department managers and line staff alike. We all want to believe that the effort invested in our performance improvement programs today will be effective and sustainable well into the future. Sadly, few “change” initiatives ever get off the ground fully, let alone last for more than a year or two. Why is this? Albert Einstein once said: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted”. In the case of performance measurement, however, ensuring desirable outcomes in performance improvement mandates that items must be counted (sorry, Albert). Many improvement programs fail in the absence of a robust system of Performance Measurement. In such a system, each improvement initiative has at least one performance metric by which to gauge success or failure and each measure has an established target, timeframe, baseline, and threshold for acceptable variance. Metrics are measured and reviewed on a regular timetable, and actions are taken to correct for negative variance. These performance metrics – or key performance indicators (KPIs) – aggregate to an organizational dashboard which, when properly designed, aligns with the strategic goals and objectives, allowing the organization to be truly data-driven.

By: Kristy Gillmann, Vice President PowerHealth Solutions & Gail Robbins, Administrative Director, Financial Planning Services Jordan Hospital

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