Balanced scorecards for specialists: a tool for quality improvement
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This article describes a program that HealthPartners uses to assess and compare the performance of specialists that serve its members. HealthPartners' Balanced Scorecards program focuses on cardiologist and orthopedist practices in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and St. Cloud, Minnesota. The scorecards assess the clinical and business processes of specialist practices, their use of resources, the degree to which patients and referring physicians are satisfied with their performance, and their patient outcomes. Unblinded comparative data is made available to referring physicians, employers, and consumers only after each individual specialist group has had the opportunity to review its own data against blinded results, discuss the methodology, and comment on the results.