Use of comparative performance indicators in rehabilitation


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Abstract

Background:The development of performance indicators that enable benchmarking between organizations is an important mechanism for accountability, organizational learning, and performance improvement. In the province of Quebec (Canada), 21 rehabilitation organizations developed a common set of performance indicators through interorganizational collaboration.Purpose:The aims of this study were to describe the rehabilitation organizations’ use of a common set of performance indicators and to identify the factors influencing such use.Approach:A qualitative survey was performed. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted with executives (n = 18) working at 16 rehabilitation organizations using a common set of performance indicators. A thematic analysis of the factors of use was performed according to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. The use of performance indicators was categorized as purposeful, political, or passive.Findings:Our results showed that all organizations used the common set of performance indicators. Four factors were identified as important to all the rehabilitation organizations to explain their interest in comparative performance indicators: the need to develop their own performance indicators, the compatibility of performance information with organizational needs, complexity/simplicity of performance information, and the support offered by their common association. Sixty-three percent of rehabilitation organizations made purposeful or political use of performance indicators. Three main factors contributed to typify those organizations from the others: the perceived quality of the performance indicators, the leadership of decision makers, and the resources available.Practice Implications:Our results showed that use of performance indicators can support the initiation of projects for improving the quality of care. Key recommendations are proposed to decision makers that may enhance performance indicators’ use.

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