Using a Balanced Scorecard to Improve the Performance of an Emergency Department

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Executive SummaryRecognizing the pivotal role that emergency departments play in delivering care, forming first impressions, and driving operational flow, one organization utilized the balanced scorecard as a tool to focus on performance improvement.The balanced scorecard provides a framework for measuring internal business processes, customer perspectives, financial performance, and learning and growth.A multidisciplinary team selected the following measures on which to focus for the study period: laboratory test completion exceeding 30 minutes; laboratory specimen return rate; patient satisfaction; patient complaint rate; profit; staff satisfaction; and continuing education hours.All measures improved during the study period, albeit in varying degrees of statistical significance.In addition to selecting a careful array of measures, the implementation process of the measurement tool was accompanied by an educational process for the staff as well as a commitment to focus upon barriers and enablers to drive performance.

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