Balanced Scorecard for the Medical Practice

Chris Dugger

What is a Balanced Scorecard (BSC)? Can your practice benefit from implementing the concept? At our 14-surgeon orthopaedic practice, implementing a BSC resulted in a more systematic focus on key performance metrics that impact the patient experience and monitor the effectiveness of a range of internal processes.

The BSC is a reporting and strategy tool that has been used since the 1990s in a range of industries outside of healthcare. It was developed in response to a belief that management focused excessively on short-term financial metrics—revenue, overhead, and operating margins—to the exclusion of other factors that were critical to the long-term health of the enterprise. Financial performance is always a trailing indicator, and the BSC seeks to bring into focus the service and strategic factors that combine to ensure ongoing success. For most practices with an increasing reliance on health informatics, the problem can be too much data, and the BSC can be a vehicle to distill that mass of information and help focus on what is really important.

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