Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Good governance improves performance even if effective board members don't save lives

It is always reassuring to see evidence of how effective boards result in better performance. Board trainers like myself like something to prove the need for good governance with more than horror stories of where governance went off the rails. Therefore, I was pleased to read about Stuart Emslie's study Exploring the Association Between Board and Organisational Performance in NHS Foundation Trusts (pdf available on the Healthcare Governance Review blog).

Stuart Emslie found "strong and highly significant correlations" between board performance, as measured using a self-assessment tool with "measures of financial performance, and measures of staff satisfaction derived from the annual national staff survey". However, he did not find any correlation with better patient mortality. Perhaps that will change as better financial management generates surpluses for re-investment and as improved staff morale benefits service quality.

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