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Can we use routine data to evaluate organizational change? Lessons from the evaluation of business process re-engineering in a UK teaching hospital

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark Deverill


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OBJECTIVE: To review and critically evaluate a multidisciplinary independent evaluation of business process re-engineering within a UK hospital using routine data. METHODS: Routine data measures of hospital cost efficiency are used to compare rates of changes at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) with a 'peer group' of 22 teaching hospitals and to ascertain changes attributable to re-engineering. Different adjustment factors are quantified and the robustness of individual measures discussed. In addition to providing context to the quantitative primary research and the qualitative research on change management, service performance and quality indicators not captured in overall efficiency measures are assessed using detailed routine data measures. RESULTS: LRI is one of the most efficient teaching hospitals in England and continued improvement during re-engineering is shown to be at a faster rate than the peer group average, although attribution of changes is difficult. Lack of availability and inconsistency of data for support services meant that many re-engineering initiatives are not quantifiable using routine data measures. CONCLUSIONS: When combining different measures, routine data is a valuable tool in evaluating organizational change initiatives. However, use in future evaluations would require consistent benchmarking of routine data.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brennan A, Sampson F, Deverill M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Services Management Research

Year: 2005

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 265-276

ISSN (print): 0951-4848

ISSN (electronic): 1758-1044

Publisher: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.


DOI: 10.1258/095148405774518651

Notes: Contribution to the research: I worked closely with the chief executive of the Leicester Royal Infirmary and the ScHARR based research team in designing the evaluation. Importance and impact of the findings:At the time of the study business process re-engineering was a major new initiative in seeking to make efficiency gains in hospitals. This paper informs other researchers what are the key benefits of using routine data when investigating provider performance and how to benchmark such organisations.


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