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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


VILLALBI, Joan et al. The Balanced Scorecard as a management tool in a public health organization. Gac Sanit [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.1, pp.60-65. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: The Balanced Scorecard is a tool for strategic planning in business. We present our experience after introducing this instrument in a public health agency to align daily management practice with strategic objectives. Methods: Our management team required deep discussions with external support to clarify the concepts behind the Balanced Scorecard, adapt them to a public organization in the health field distinct from the business sector in which the Balanced Scorecard was designed, and adopt this instrument as a management tool. This process led to definition of the Balanced Scorecard by our Management Committee in 2002, the subsequent evaluation of the degree to which its objectives had been reached, and its periodic redefinition. In addition, second-level Balanced Scorecards were defined for different divisions and services within the agency. The adoption of the Balanced Scorecard by the management team required prior effort to clarify who are the stockholders and who are the clients of a public health organization. The agency's activity and production were also analyzed and a key processes model was defined. Although it is hard to attribute specific changes to a single cause, we believe several improvements in management can be ascribed, at least in part, to the use of the Balanced Scorecard. Conclusion: The systematic use of the Balanced Scorecard produced greater cohesion in the management team and the entire organization and brought the strategic objectives closer to daily management operations. The organization is more attentive to its clients, has taken steps to improve its most complex cross-sectional processes, and has developed further actions for the development and growth of its officers and its entire personnel. At the same time, its management team is more in tune with the needs of the agency's administrative bodies that compose its governing board.

Keywords : Balanced Scorecard; Management; Evaluation.

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