Measuring primary care practice performance within an integrated delivery system: a case study

J Healthc Manag. Jul-Aug 2002;47(4):250-61.


This article examines the use of an integrated performance measurement system to plan and control primary care service delivery within an integrated delivery system. We review a growing body of literature that focuses on the development and implementation of management reporting systems among healthcare providers. Our study extends the existing literature by examining the use of performance information generated by an integrated performance measurement system within a healthcare organization. We conduct our examination through a case study of the WMG Primary Care Medicine Group, the primary care medical group practice of WellSpan Health System. WellSpan Health System is an integrated delivery system that serves south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Our study examines the linkage between WellSpan Health's strategic objectives and its primary care medicine group's integrated performance measurement system. The conceptual design of this integrated performance measurement system combines financial metrics with practice management and clinical operating metrics to provide a more complete picture of medical group performance. Our findings demonstrate that WellSpan Health was able to achieve superior financial results despite a weak linkage between its integrated performance measurement system and its strategic objectives. WellSpan Health achieved this objective for its primary care medicine group by linking clinical performance information to physician compensation and reporting practice management performance through the use of statistical process charts. They found that the combined mechanisms of integrated performance measurement and statistical process control charts improved organizational learning and communications between organizational stakeholders.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / standards*
  • Group Practice / standards*
  • Information Systems*
  • Maryland
  • Medical Audit
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Pennsylvania
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Professional Corporations / organization & administration
  • Professional Corporations / standards
  • Systems Integration*
  • Total Quality Management*
  • United States