There is More to Performance Management Than Just Tools and Technology

Posted on by Brian Veara

Arrow Leader

Throughout my career, I’ve come across many healthcare organizations that struggle with performance management. What I hear and see are intelligent, dedicated people all trying to help their organization improve. Most EMR implementations do not include a clinical business intelligence strategy. Vendors have come in and convinced the organization’s leaders that their software can somehow automatically improve performance. The software is so easy to use it will be self-service. The vendor will demonstrate the ad-hoc data discovery capabilities that anyone can do. All the organization has to do is submit their data and the improvements will begin. Oh, there’s also a large expense of at least $250,000 just to start. Many organizations have spent much more than that and are not seeing any significant improvement. Why? 

There is more to performance management than just tools and technology. Catalysis has formed a peer-to-peer learning network called the Catalysis Healthcare Value Network with organizations that learn, share and connect with each other. Our shared learning has led us to a deployment sequence in performance management of Mindset, Skillset, and Toolset. While technology is very important, the deployment of technology without the proper organizational mindset and skillset will not be successful. The analytics must be supporting an improvement methodology like lean. The organization must be skilled in producing, consuming, and using data to take action on insight.

Our network has developed a formal assessment process to help an organization build an actual strategy and roadmap. We also have designed a skills matrix development process to help accelerate an organization’s analytical journey. The focus is on developing and maturing the mindset and skillsets needed to be successful in actual performance improvement. While we certainly discuss technology, the main emphasis of our learning, sharing and connecting, is on people and processes.

There are several symptoms of a performance management system in need of help:

  • Is your organization improving at the desired pace?
  • Are you spending a lot of money on tools and not satisfied with the actual results?
  • Do you have a strategy and roadmap for organizational analytical maturity advancement?
  • Is your analytical maturity focused on latent performance measures?


There is help available. Start by reading Management on the Mend by John Toussaint, MD. This book describes the model, step by step, through people in 11 organizations who are transforming into high-performance healthcare organizations. Join the Healthcare Value Network to learn, share, and connect with others who are also on this transformation journey.  The shared experiences will help accelerate your organization’s analytical maturity and by creating a roadmap for improvement.


Brian Veara, Program Director


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