Strategic performance evaluation in cancer centers.J Healthc Manag. 2009 Nov-Dec; 54(6):369-81; discussion 381-2.JH
Most research in healthcare strategy has focused on formulating or implementing organizational plans and strategies, and little attention has been dedicated to the post-implementation control and evaluation of strategy, which we contend is the most critical aspect of achieving organizational goals. The objective of this study was to identify strategic control approaches used by major cancer centers in the country and to relate these practices to financial performance. Our intent was to expand the theory and practice of healthcare strategy to focused services, such as oncology. We designed a 17-question survey to capture elements of strategy and performance from our study sample, which comprised major cancer hospitals in the United States and shared similar mandates and resource constraints. The results suggest that high-performing cancer centers use more sophisticated analytical approaches, invest greater financial resources in performance analysis, and conduct more frequent performance reviews than do low-performing organizations. Our conclusions point to the need for a more robust approach to strategic assessment. In this article, we offer a number of recommendations for management to achieve strategic plans and goals on the basis of our research. To our knowledge, this study is one of the first to concentrate on the area of strategic control.