Performance measurement in hospitals

berend van der kolk

This week, our study of the use of performance measurement in hospitals was published in Health Care Management Review – and the best part: it’s open access!

Performance measurement systems are increasingly used in public sector organizations, allegedly to improve efficiency, effectiveness and employee motivation. In our study, we examine whether it matters how performance measurement systems are used in hospitals. We distinguish among an ‘explorative use’ (wanting to learn from performance information rather and using it to understand what is going on) and an ‘operational use’ (using performance information mainly for planning purposes). We find that an ‘operational use’ enhances operational performance, but diminishes quality of patient-oriented care, while an explorative use enhances the collective work culture and increases patient-oriented care.

So, we find that the way in which managers use performance information is related to hospital outcomes. Therefore, hospital managers should critically reflect on how they use performance information, and whether their type of use is in line with the desired hospital outcomes.

The article is published under open access and can be found here. Health Care Management Review is a US-based top journal in the field of health policy with an impact factor of 2.6. A Dutch medical news item about our study can be found here.

This study was carried out together with Hilco van Elten and Sandra Sülz, who both work at the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam. 


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