Showing posts from June, 2012

Ensuring the Right Use of Performance Data: A Cautionary Tale from Health Care

Health care has provided lessons for court administration in the past (see Monitoring “Never Events in Court Administration, Made2Measure, September 23, 2008;Pursuing Perfection – A Lesson from Health Care, Made2Measure, November 1, 2006. This time it provides a cautionary tale, specifically for performance measurement and performance management.

The Story of PICS As reported in the Economist (“From petrol to prescriptions,” June 16, 2012. p. 65), the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham in the U.K. pioneered a new approach to patient care learned from the carmaker BMW’s engine assembly factory where over 99.9% of tasks were completed flawlessly. Big health systems in the U.K. and the U.S., in contrast, tolerate many more errors. Emulating BMW’s approach to manufacturing, the Birmingham hospital system installed a quality-control regime called PICS, which stands for “Prescribing, Information and Communication System.” PICS features a performance dashboard system on a computer screen …