Reviewing the application of the balanced scorecard with implications for low-income health settings.
ABSTRACT High-income countries (HICs) are increasingly making use of the balanced scorecard (BSC) in healthcare. Evidence about BSC usage in low-income countries (LICs) is deficient. This study assessed feasibility of BSC use in LICs. Systematic review of electronic databases shows that the BSC improved patient, staff, clinical, and financial outcomes in HICs. To translate the experience of BSC use in HICs to their use in LICs, the applicability parameters of the National Committee for Quality Assurance were applied. Despite contextual challenges, pilot testing of BSC use can be undertaken in selected LICs. Committed leadership, cultural readiness, quality information systems, viable strategic plans, and optimum resources are required.
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ABSTRACT: In 2004, Afghanistan pioneered a balanced scorecard (BSC) performance system to manage the delivery of primary health care services. This study examines the trends of 29 key performance indicators over a 5-year period between 2004 and 2008. Independent evaluations of performance in six domains were conducted annually through 5,500 patient observations and exit interviews and 1,500 provider interviews in >600 facilities selected by stratified random sampling in each province. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used to assess trends in BSC parameters. There was a progressive improvement in the national median scores scaled from 0-100 between 2004 and 2008 in all six domains: patient and community satisfaction of services (65.3-84.5, p<0.0001); provider satisfaction (65.4-79.2, p<0.01); capacity for service provision (47.4-76.4, p<0.0001); quality of services (40.5-67.4, p<0.0001); and overall vision for pro-poor and pro-female health services (52.0-52.6). The financial domain also showed improvement until 2007 (84.4-95.7, p<0.01), after which user fees were eliminated. By 2008, all provinces achieved the upper benchmark of national median set in 2004. The BSC has been successfully employed to assess and improve health service capacity and service delivery using performance benchmarking during the 5-year period. However, scorecard reconfigurations are needed to integrate effectiveness and efficiency measures and accommodate changes in health systems policy and strategy architecture to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness as a comprehensive health system performance measure. The process of BSC design and implementation can serve as a valuable prototype for health policy planners managing performance in similar health care contexts. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.PLoS Medicine 07/2011; 8(7):e1001066. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As a response to a changing operating environment, healthcare administrators are implementing modern management tools in their organizations. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is considered a viable tool in high-income countries to improve hospital performance. The BSC has not been applied to hospital settings in low-income countries nor has the context for implementation been examined. This study explored contextual perspectives in relation to BSC implementation in a Pakistani hospital. Four clinical units of this hospital were involved in the BSC implementation based on their willingness to participate. Implementation included sensitization of units towards the BSC, developing specialty specific BSCs and reporting of performance based on the BSC during administrative meetings. Pettigrew and Whipp's context (why), process (how) and content (what) framework of strategic change was used to guide data collection and analysis. Data collection methods included quantitative tools (a validated culture assessment questionnaire) and qualitative approaches including key informant interviews and participant observation. Method triangulation provided common and contrasting results between the four units. A participatory culture, supportive leadership, financial and non-financial incentives, the presentation of clear direction by integrating support for the BSC in policies, resources, and routine activities emerged as desirable attributes for BSC implementation. The two units that lagged behind were more involved in direct inpatient care and carried a considerable clinical workload. Role clarification and consensus about the purpose and benefits of the BSC were noted as key strategies for overcoming implementation challenges in two clinical units that were relatively ahead in BSC implementation. It was noted that, rather than seeking to replace existing information systems, initiatives such as the BSC could be readily adopted if they are built on existing infrastructures and data networks. Variable levels of the BSC implementation were observed in this study. Those intending to apply the BSC in other hospital settings need to ensure a participatory culture, clear institutional mandate, appropriate leadership support, proper reward and recognition system, and sensitization to BSC benefits.Implementation Science 03/2011; 6:31. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Balanced Scorecards (BSC) are being implemented in high income health settings linking organizational strategies with performance data. At this private university hospital in Pakistan an elaborate information system exists. This study aimed to make best use of available data for better performance management. Applying the modified Delphi technique an expert panel of clinicians and hospital managers reduced a long list of indicators to a manageable size. Indicators from existing documents were evaluated for their importance, scientific soundness, appropriateness to hospital's strategic plan, feasibility and modifiability. Panel members individually rated each indicator on a scale of 1-9 for the above criteria. Median scores were assigned. Of an initial set of 50 indicators, 20 were finally selected to be assigned to the four BSC quadrants. These were financial (n = 4), customer or patient (n = 4), internal business or quality of care (n = 7) and innovation/learning or employee perspectives (n = 5). A need for stringent definitions, international benchmarking and standardized measurement methods was identified. BSC compels individual clinicians and managers to jointly work towards improving performance. This scorecard is now ready to be implemented by this hospital as a performance management tool for monitoring indicators, addressing measurement issues and enabling comparisons with hospitals in other settings.International Journal of Health Planning and Management 02/2010; 25(1):74-90. · 0.97 Impact Factor