Dr Tim Tenbensel (Associate Professor, School of Population Health)

  • Date: Wednesday 31 March 2021
  • Time: 1-2pm
  • Via Zoom: Meeting ID 949 8065 5156 Passcode 671543

The idea and practice of performance management and measurement in New Zealand’s health sector has become well-established over the past decade. Over that time there have been two highly contrasting approaches to performance management in health – the National Health Targets regime of 2009-2018 and the System Level Measures framework that was introduced in 2016.

The Health Target regime held individual organisations accountable for the achievement of process targets. In the System Level Measures framework, in contrast, the key purpose of measuring performance is to enhance learning and quality improvement by fostering inter-organisational collaboration, with a greater focus on health outcomes.

This contrast encapsulates many longstanding debates in public management and health policy about what performance management is for, what type of measures should be used, and how it should be implemented. Should performance management be primarily about accountability and control, or should it be primarily about learning, underpinned by collaboration? Is it possible to generate a virtuous circle of accountability and learning, or are these two objectives incompatible in practice?

In this seminar I compare and contrast the implementation consequences of both approaches based on research into the implementation of Health Targets and System Level Measures and tease out the key implications for future performance management policies in the health sector.

Tim Tenbensel is an Associate Professor of Health Systems in the School of Population Health, and sits on the Academic Advisory Board of the PPI.

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