The results from healthcare performance improvement projects include both tangible and intangible measures. Intangible measures are the benefits (or detriments) directly linked to a project that cannot be converted to monetary values credibly, with a reasonable amount of resources. These measures are often monitored after the project has been completed. Although not converted to monetary values, they are an important part of the evaluation process. This chapter explores the role of intangibles, how to measure them, when to measure them, and how to report them.
The range of intangible measures is almost limitless. Although Table 9.1 highlights many examples of these measures, this chapter describes just a few common outcomes of projects. Some measures make the list because of the difficulty in measuring them; others because of the difficulty in converting them to money. Others are on the list for both reasons. Being labeled as intangible does not mean that these items can never be measured or converted to monetary values. In one study or another, each item on the list has been monitored and quantified in financial terms. However, in typical projects, these measures are considered intangible benefits because of the difficulty in converting them to monetary values, within the resources of the project's budget.
TABLE 9.1Common Intangibles
MIAMI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Miami Children's Hospital (MCH) faced a hard challenge of doubling of the demand for talented employees in healthcare, coupled with dwindling labor supply.1 The hospital answered this challenge with a variety of initiatives to attract, train, and retain the kind of talent that the organization must have to lead it into the future. MCH enjoys in important place in the community, with 650 affiliated physicians and 2,750 staff and frontline employees. Its goal is to work together to deliver care and services to families in the Miami area.
One of the initiatives employed was designed to help reduce the excessive turnover of new employees as they become centralized in the organization. As part of the initiative, each new employee was assigned an MCH "buddy." These buddies participated in an eight-hour training session to learn about communication, coaching, learning, mentoring, and engagement strategies. Employees shadowed their MCH buddy for 40 hours, followed by weekly meetings. Buddies were compensated if the new hire rated the on-boarding experience favorably. To date, 288 MCH buddies ...