Performance Improvement in Healthcare Organization


Healthcare organizations have a mandate to improve their performance to safeguard the health of clients. These organizations have roles similar to other profit or non-profit organizations, and the issue of quality is crucial. The provision of quality services by health care organizations creates demand, and many people are willing to premium costs to get quality services. As such, there is a need to develop performance improvement programs in healthcare organizations. This will ensure that the organizations achieve their goals and objectives while satisfying the clients. There are several tools applied in healthcare organizations to measure performance improvement. It is also necessary to mention that performance improvement is determined by the leadership skills of the management (Hader, 2006). They must influence the workers to improve their performance by providing the appropriate resources. There are also external factors, which affect the performance of workers, at health organizations. Such factors are social, economic, political, and economic and market changes (Noh, Kwon, Yoon & Hwang, 2011). This paper discusses performance improvement in healthcare organizations while focusing on the role of the Joint Commission to evaluate the performance of such organizations.

Background and Problem Identification

The performance of an organization is determined by the output of the employees. In a health organization, the performance of health personnel is critical. The quality of services offered to clients affects the reputation of such an organization. Therefore, identifying the problems affecting employees in a health organization is significant because it helps identify the appropriate solutions to apply (White, 2006). The performance of employees is affected by both internal and external factors. Internally, the leadership, management, and availability of resources are the main aspects affecting the performance of workers in a healthcare organization (Williams & Torrens, 2008). There has been significant emphasis on the management of healthcare organizations to implement appropriate leadership strategies in managing the workers. Through leadership, the management can influence the workers to improve their performance. This can be achieved by influencing the employees to provide quality work to achieve the goals of the organization. Leadership in a healthcare organization is noteworthy because it enhances teamwork, innovation, and improved performance. The management team must provide an adequate resource to the workers to ensure that they implement the goals successfully (Noh, Kwon, Yoon & Hwang, 2011).

Externally, factors such as market forces affect the performance of employees. These forces are demand and supply. Private healthcare organizations have the drive to make profits, and this affects the quality of work they offer. The demand for healthcare services has made the industry bring about many profits, and this has attracted many investors (Hader, 2006). The increase in the number of players has increased competition in the industry, and this has called for improved quality in the services offered. Socially, people value the satisfactory performance of healthcare organizations because they affect the lives of people to a great extent. Organizations, which fail to perform, are shunned away by people, and this makes them lose a lot of clients. People are willing to pay extra money to obtain quality healthcare services (Noh, Kwon, Yoon & Hwang, 2011).

The turbulent economic factors have affected the performance of healthcare organizations. With the drop in economic performance due to the financial crisis, many organizations have found it impossible to offer quality services. This has resulted from the few economic gains obtained from such organizations. Even after the country’s economy regaining from the financial crisis of the years 2007/2008, various sectors have been affected, the living standards of people have reduced and the general economy is in jeopardy. It is essential to mention that when other sectors of the economy are affected, the healthcare industry is also affected. These factors have made it costly to offer quality services because resources are expensive, and the profits made are few (Noh, Kwon, Yoon & Hwang, 2011).

Politically, the debate concerning healthcare insurance has affected the performance of healthcare organizations. Many citizens had been promised reputable healthcare insurance that would cater to the needs of all people. However, the political promises have not been achieved, and this has made it impossible for healthcare organizations to offer better services to the citizens. The establishment of an affordable healthcare system will improve the performance of healthcare organizations. Since enough resources will be provided, healthcare organizations will be able to deliver quality services to their clients. Politics have interfered with the performance of healthcare organizations in many instances, and this scenario continues to affect their performance. Politics have played a vital role in all aspects of the healthcare organization. The future of the industry is determined by the ability to reduce the political aspect in the management activities (Noh, Kwon, Yoon & Hwang, 2011).

Review of Quality Indicator Process

The Joint Commission of Health Grades was established to monitor and regulate the performance improvement of healthcare organizations. The sole mandate of the organization is to provide ratings to all healthcare organizations. As such, organizations with low ratings must improve the quality of services offered to clients. On the other hand, organizations with high ratings should maintain the standards and improve if possible (Costello-Nickitas, Middaugh & Aries, 2011).

The Joint Commission of Health Grades provides ranks to healthcare organizations in the country. The basis of evaluation depends on various factors. For instance, the mortality rates, the number of complications experienced in a cretin healthcare organization, patient safety measures in place, and others. The organizations with the best performance are awarded based on the indicators (AHRQ, 2012).

Quality Indicator for Performance Measurement and Improvement

One quality indicator that is currently being used to monitor the performance improvement of healthcare organizations is the HealthGrades Hospital, Report Card. A comparative analysis is done for several healthcare organizations in the country. The ratings are based on questions such as whether the customers are satisfied with the services they obtain, or they are not satisfied at all. The report cards are collected and evaluated, to determine the level of satisfaction of the clients. In addition, the card shows the achievements made in an organization. For instance, the development of better strategies to improve the performance of employees in such organizations. The responses are provided by various stakeholders in the industry, and a rating for each organization is provided (Conn, 2005).

The use of hospital report cards can be used in an action plan for improvement of a healthcare organization to address the issue of performance improvement. As such, the areas where weaknesses are reported are evaluated to ensure that no errors are made. The report card should be used to identify areas of weaknesses, and strengths. Therefore, the management can use this information to identify strategies for allocating resources. In the past, healthcare organizations have not been applying leadership skills in the management of resources. By applying the report card systems, the management will be required to apply appropriate leadership skills to identify the problems facing workers. This will help alleviate the challenges they are facing and improve their performance (Conn, 2005).


Monitoring the performance of healthcare organizations is extremely significant because it helps improve the quality of services offered to people. The performance of the employees in healthcare organizations is affected by various factors, and there is the need to assess and evaluate it continuously. To achieve such goals, there is the need to apply appropriate leadership strategies when handling employees in these organizations. The managers should influence the workers to achieve the goals of the organization. Apart from the internal factors affecting the performance of healthcare organizations, there are external environmental factors. Some of these factors are political, social, economic, and market forces. An organization must balance all the forces to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved. The Joint Commission of Health Grades was established to monitor and evaluate the performance of all healthcare organizations in the country. It provides ratings to all organizations, and awards are given to the best-performing healthcare organizations. The health care report cards are used to evaluate the performance of workers and the organization. This helps obtain a general view of the organization, and the ratings give credit to the best-performing organizations. As such the management of healthcare organizations must improve their performance to raise their ranking.


AHRQ, (2012). Part I. Introduction to Performance Data. Web.

Conn, J. (2005). Study sees quality gap widening. Modern Healthcare, 35(42), 16.

Costello-Nickitas, D. M., Middaugh, D. J., & Aries, N. (2011). Policy and politics for nurses and other health professions: Advocacy and action. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Hader, R. (2006, July). More than words: Provide a clear and concise mission statement. Nursing Management. p. 6.

Noh, J. W., Kwon, Y. D., Yoon, S. J., & Hwang, J. I. (2011). Internal and external environmental factors affecting the performance of hospital-based home nursing care. International Nursing Review, 58(2), 263-269.

White, K. M. (2006). Be a best-in-class organization. Nursing Management, 37(9), 53-57.

Williams, S. J., & Torrens, P. R. (2008). Introduction to health services. Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

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