The health unit must be accountable to its provincial and municipal funders, as well as to the public, for the work it does to protect and promote the health of Simcoe Muskoka residents. For a number of years the health unit has used different tools to assess and improve our performance.
- Accountability Agreements – these are drawn up by the province. These agreements specify performance expectations for boards of health and require public health units to demonstrate compliance with the Ontario Public Health Standards.
- Balanced Scorecard – these are often used in the private sector. The health unit designed its own in 2008 to measure how well we are doing in reaching the goals of our Strategic Plan.
- Financial Reports – Audited financial statements are made available to the public, as required by the Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards.
In 2015 we made good progress on almost all our Balanced Scorecard strategic directions as well as achieving targets or showing improvement in 13 of the 16 Accountability Agreement indicators.
Performance management is our approach to achieving excellence in public health service. Through it, we set priority standards; build tools to measure our success; and report the results. Ultimately, these methods help to build a process of continuous quality improvement.
The graphic below presents the four critical components of SMDHU’s Performance Management cycle:
Applying Performance Standards, the basic direction-setting activities of an organization or a system. Measuring Performance, related to performance standards, involves defining indicators. Reporting Progress, this is about accountability; part of a process that converts data into useable information. Improving Quality, creating a learning organization that can use information dynamically and continuously to make decisions and create change as needed.
SMDHU's report Performance Management Framework – From Inquiry to Improvement
presents a framework that encompasses the entire cycle of performance management at SMDHU.