HealthcarePapers 7(1) July 2006 : 34-39.doi:10.12927/hcpap..18314

The Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute: Creating Sustainable Accountability through Collaboration, Relevant Measurement and Timely Feedback

Cy Frank, Don Dick, Doug Smith, Tracy Wasylak, Kathy Gooch and Ron Zernicke


A robust accountability strategy is at the core of creating a safe, efficient, effective and sustainable system of healthcare. The commitment to be accountable must extend far beyond the providers of care to include every person involved in the funding, administration, delivery and support of patient care (both directly and indirectly). The Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute has fostered a new system that will measure, analyze and give valuable feedback to all stakeholders in all three essential domains of system accountability: access, quality and cost. The Institute has employed four key strategies to create system accountability in a hip and knee pilot project: collaboration between stakeholders in defining goals and measures that matter to them; the use of "world's best evidence" to drive decisions and to establish goals and benchmarks to measure against; collection of useful data and its analysis to inform improvement decisions; and timely feedback of relevant data in domains of interest to stakeholders on system outputs in the key domains. While these strategies have not yet been proven to be effective in creating the desired "culture of accountability," they are having a significant clinical impact and do have potential to lead to that outcome.



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