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Combining patient, clinical and system perspectives in assessing performance in healthcare: An integrated measurement framework

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Background: The science of measuring and reporting on the performance of healthcare systems is rapidly evolving. In the past decade, across many jurisdictions, organisations tasked with monitoring progress towards reform targets have broadened their purview to take a more system-functioning approach. Their aim is to bring clarity to performance assessment, using relevant and robust concepts - and avoiding reductionist measures - to build a whole-of-system view of performance. Existing performance frameworks are not fully aligned with these developments. Methods: An eight stage process to develop a conceptual framework incorporated literature review, mapping, categorisation, integration, synthesis and validation of performance constructs that have been used by organisations and researchers in order to assess, reflect and report on healthcare performance. Results: A total of 19 performance frameworks were identified and included in the review. Existing frameworks mostly adopted either a logic model (inputs, outputs and outcomes), a functional, or a goal-achievement approach. The mapping process identified 110 performance terms and concepts. These were integrated, synthesised and resynthesised to produce a framework that features 12 derived constructs reflecting combinations of patients' needs and expectations; healthcare resources and structures; receipt and experience of healthcare services; healthcare processes, functions and context; and healthcare outcomes. The 12 constructs gauge performance in terms of coverage, accessibility, appropriateness, effectiveness, safety, productivity, efficiency, impact, sustainability, resilience, adaptability and equity. They reflect four performance perspectives (patient, population, delivery organisation and system). Conclusions: Internationally, healthcare systems and researchers have used a variety of terms to categorise indicators of healthcare performance, however few frameworks are based on a theoretically-based conceptual underpinning. The proposed framework incorporates a manageable number of performance domains that together provide a comprehensive assessment, as well as conceptual and operational clarity and coherence that support multifaceted measurement systems for healthcare.




Levesque, J. F., & Sutherland, K. (2020). Combining patient, clinical and system perspectives in assessing performance in healthcare: An integrated measurement framework. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1).

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