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For boards to review organizational performance in quality of care and patient safety they need relevant measures of current performance and ongoing updates on those measures that identify whether the organizations are achieving targeted improvements. Safety measuring and monitoring should provide a comprehensive picture of a healthcare organization's quality and patient safety.

Tools and Resources

Big Dots and Small Dots

  • Boards should monitor results for a small number of critical indicators of clinical performance, as they do in reviewing financial performance.
  • Boards should routinely monitor results for a small number of critical corporate indicators and ensure that management and the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) are monitoring quality results in a more detailed fashion (Hundert and Topp, 2003)

Dashboards for the Board

  • Dashboards should be clear, easy to read and have data that can be refreshed on a regular basis. Dashboard measures are aligned with the overall organizational strategic plan and goals.

  • Dashboards can be used to communicate about key indicators over time Saskatoon Health Region Dashboard-Fact Sheets  provide a good example of communicating about key measures.

Linking Data to Broader Organizational Strategy

  • Boards need a 'snapshot' of important measures associated with strategic areas, rather than providing every measure being collected at the organization.
  • Performance measures should be easily interpreted by lay members of a healthcare board, and need to be timely assessment of current performance in targeted areas.
  •  Indicators and information can be linked to the broader strategic plan for the organization, and outline information needs.
  • Relevant performance information should be shared with stakeholders. Kingston General Hospital Score Card and the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre Balanced Scorecard & Patient Safety Indicators are examples of connecting and communicating strategy and measurement information.