Clinicians' use of cost and quality information: the role of service-line management

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What did we do in this project?

This piece of work used a case study methodology in seven sites around the country to explore how and why clinical teams are using the service-line management approach to understand their performance and drive improvements in the quality and efficiency of their services.

The final report is available now: Service-line management: Can it improve quality and efficiency?

Why are we interested in this project?

The decisions of clinical directors in hospitals are hugely significant drivers of the overall quality and cost of NHS services. This project looks at how these clinicians, working alongside general management and finance colleagues, use data on cost and quality to help them to manage their services.

Using data on clinical indicators has been shown to act as a strong performance management lever and reliable timely data can prompt clinicians to lead change at a systemic level. However the evidence available suggests that clinical and financial measures are not regularly used by doctors to drive quality and productivity improvement.

Service-line reporting is a tool developed by Monitor to help NHS trusts capture and understand their clinical, financial and operational performance. Service-line management takes this process a stage further by building an organisational and performance management structure which devolves decision-making and budgetary control to clinical teams.