Understanding and Defining the Most Effective Health Care KPIs

Although many people mistakenly believe that strategy evaluation systems are used only in manufacturing industries, they can also be effectively applied in non-profit spheres, like education and health care. In fact, the Balanced Scorecard (one of the most popular strategy evaluation frameworks) can be used in any sphere implying setting and achieving goals. For instance, the highest hospital accrediting institutions, such as Joint Commission International (JCI), issue nationwide and international patient safety goals in addition to fundamental measure sets. Bearing these goals and recommendations in mind is the recipe for designing effective Scorecard with winning indicators for health care domain. In this article we would like to share some tips on selecting the proper KPIs for health care institutions.Step 1: Learn the JCI Patient Safety GoalsBecause designing strategy evaluation framework begins with setting goals, it is important to learn the current nationwide and international patient safety goals issued by the Joint Commission or another accrediting body. These goals are annually updated. All healthcare organizations, both private and public stick to these recommendations. Once you have the list of adopted goals and supporting core measure sets, you can start identifying which core sets are applicable for your particular medical institution.Step 2: Identify Sets Applicable For Your Health Care UnitThe Joint Commission International publishes ‘general’ measure sets which should be selected and adjusted according to the health care unit specialization. Here are some of the general sets offered by the JCI:
Acute Myocardial Infarction Core Measure Set (CMS).
Surgical Care CMS.
Perinatal CMS.
Pregnancy CMS.
Outpatient Department CMS.
STK (Stroke) CMS.
VTE (Venous Thromboembolism) CMS.
These sets include both clinical and non-clinical goals.Step 3: Define Clinical and Non-Clinical Indicators for Your Particular Health Care UnitOnce you have the goals and core measure sets you can start selecting key performance indicators. To help you get started with your framework, we have gathered some of the most common metrics used in health care sphere. These include:
Clinical Outcomes. This measure should reflect the outcome statistics compared with established norms. For instance, of 1000 patients admitted with heart attack, X amount of people get better within a week, Y amount of people stay hospitalized for more than a week, and Z amount depart.
Number of People in Emergency Room. This metrics should reflect the quality of your ER service.
ER Waiting Time + Severity of the Condition. This metrics is calculated like this: check-in time – admittance time / X days.
Lab Results Waiting Times. This KPI shows how much it takes to get test results. First, you need to establish norms for your lab turnaround, and then compare those with the actual data. It is also advisable to divide tests into different categories (some tests are time-taking, while others can be done in a matter of minutes).
In addition to the aforementioned indicators, your dashboard may include other, more specific measures, such as average length of stay, hospital bed occupancy, rates of hospital acquired infections, patient satisfaction, and many other.

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