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The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Balanced Scorecard


Healthcare has always been an important topic of discussion in any society, as the level of care often reflects the level of well-being within that society. How quickly can you get treated, how easy it is to access medication, how innovative physicians are and how in-depth does research actually go, in order to find the best possible line of treatment for any ailment that may befall an individual or a group.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at a healthcare facility from Ontario, Canada, which strives to keep those questions on their minds every single day.

The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

The Sunnybrook Centre has a very clearly-defined mission, illustrated beautifully in its 2015 – 2018 Strategic Plan, which is to serve two main roles: first and foremost, it has a community which it must care for and second, it acts as an R&D, as well as teaching centre.

This is quite the task and showcases the extraordinary amount of power to do good which they have at their disposal. And as the saying goes, ”with great power, comes great responsibility”, meaning that Sunnybrook’s employees had to design measuring methods that ensure they are always on top of their game.

Therefore, they have taken the Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care indicators, which all hospitals have to abide by – Nosocomial Antibiotic Resistant Organism Infection Rates, Monthly Clostridium Difficile Rates, Central Line Infection, Hand Hygiene Compliance, Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio, Surgical Safety Checklist Compliance, Surgical Site Infection Prevention, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia, and have added their own indicators, to boot.

Sunnybrook’s staff decided these indicators were not enough for their facility and they wanted to create a more comprehensive list of indicators, which will offer their patients an even greater sense of assurance when stepping into their institution. Thus came into existence the aforementioned 2015 – 2018 Strategic Plan, which outlines 3 major dimensions, alongside 9 strategic goals, which are then broken up into several KPIs for each goal.

Quality of Care

Goal 1 – Improve the patient experience and outcomes through inter-professional, high quality care

Objectives: reduce preventable harm, lead provincially in patient outcomes for select QBPs, lead in the provision of high quality end of life care.

Goal 2 – Focus on the highest levels of specialized care in support of our Academic Health Sciences Centre definition

Objective: To increase the proportion of specialized activity.

Goal 3 – Work with system partners and government to build an integrated delivery system in support of our communities and our Academic Health Sciences Centre definition.

Objective:  To identify, develop and establish internal and external clinical partnerships that enhance safe transitions of care to the community, timely access to high quality care and efficient use of resources.

Goal 4 – Achieving excellence in clinical care associated with our strategic priorities.

Objectives: To achieve the highest level of clinical outcomes and standards in Cancer, to achieve the highest level of clinical outcomes and standards in Heart and Vascular, to achieve the highest level of clinical outcomes and standards in Image-Guided Brain Therapies, to achieve the highest level of clinical outcomes and standards in High Risk Maternal and Newborns and to achieve the highest level of clinical outcomes and standards in Trauma.


Research and Education

Goal 5 – Change health care practice through the creation, translation and application of new knowledge with a focus on our Strategic Priorities.

Objectives: To create new knowledge that advances our strategic priority areas, to test and translate new knowledge into improved treatment approaches and apply in the clinical domain, to support the commercialization of technologies into industry, to support the implementation of discoveries and/or findings into practice and to support the wide-spread adoption of discoveries and/or findings into practice.

Goal 6 – Lead in the development of innovative methods of teaching and learning.

Objectives: Enhance utilization of technology enabled learning (e.g. LMS, simulation) throughout Sunnybrook and enhance health literacy skills of Sunnybrook providers to better engage patients and families.

Sustainability and Accountability

Goal 7 – Advance our Strategic Priorities through the appropriate and purposeful use of resources.

Objectives: Position our Strategic Priorities for ongoing development to invent and deliver world class care and align Medical Human Resource Plan (MHRP) to our Strategic Priorities.

Goal 8 – Deliver sustainable performance that meets health systems expectations and commitments.

Objectives: Ensure patients have access to specialized services when they need them, optimize capacity by ensuring patients are cared for in the right place and provide evidence-based care within the defined funding envelope.

Goal 9 – Create a culture of engagement, respect and inclusiveness that attracts and inspires talent to achieve excellence.

Objectives: To attract and retain talent and to build leadership capacity.

As mentioned above, every single one of these objectives comes with its own package of KPIs which are monitored and reported on twice a year, highlighting gradual improvements which have happened over the reporting period. As you may peruse through the report, you will notice that there are several colour-coded indices and legends for every objective and KPI.

That is due to how Sunnybrook recommends readers look over its report. Any data covered in it may not directly indicate that they have either achieved their targets on a sustainable level or that there are significant & legitimate signs of concern. Their information simply shows their journey towards meeting the desired goal and how much ground they have covered so far, so keep this in mind when leafing through the data.

All things considered, the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is one of the best examples of how healthcare can incorporate a seemingly business-only tool, and that is the Balanced Scorecard. By looking at their thought process and emulating their decision-making, any institution can follow in Sunnybrook’s footsteps to increase its performance.

Good results come to those who go beyond conventional wisdom and incorporate any tool that may bring them closer to their objectives, be it from an adjacent industry or a completely parallel one. Hone your desire & drive to be the very best, and you will have something to show for.

If you are interested in more Healthcare related KPIs or wish to learn how to design your own Healthcare-focused BSC, our subscriptions provide access to +1,500 KPI examples which can get you started. Our dedicated Library contains relevant resources to improve your KPI practices, and if you want to further improve your knowledge, feel free to explore our latest healthcare publication – Top 25 Healthcare KPIs – 2016 Extended Edition.

Image sources:

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The journey of the Balanced Scorecard: from plan to implementation

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