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Costing Counting and Comparability Aspects of Performance Measurement in a Pathology Laboratory

Costing Counting and Comparability Aspects of Performance Measurement in a Pathology Laboratory The motivation for this paper is to better understand the strengths and limitations of quantitative performance measures in a changing environment. The context is one of organisational change and innovative management. Using a case study approach, the paper presents a history of organisational change and focuses on attempts to drive and assess efficiency through performance measures in a public hospitalbased pathology laboratory. The various financial and nonfinancial performance measures used in the laboratory are presented. A discrepancy between accounting reports and laboratory management analyses of costs is reported. The notorious difficulties of costing health services are examined through the dispute that arose about whether the mean costpertest was increasing or decreasing over a threeyear period. Competing representations of performance are analysed. Whilst the case study looks at a New Zealand example, many of the pressures facing pathology services are typical of medical laboratories worldwide. General issues of performance measurement are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

Costing Counting and Comparability Aspects of Performance Measurement in a Pathology Laboratory

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/eb037965
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The motivation for this paper is to better understand the strengths and limitations of quantitative performance measures in a changing environment. The context is one of organisational change and innovative management. Using a case study approach, the paper presents a history of organisational change and focuses on attempts to drive and assess efficiency through performance measures in a public hospitalbased pathology laboratory. The various financial and nonfinancial performance measures used in the laboratory are presented. A discrepancy between accounting reports and laboratory management analyses of costs is reported. The notorious difficulties of costing health services are examined through the dispute that arose about whether the mean costpertest was increasing or decreasing over a threeyear period. Competing representations of performance are analysed. Whilst the case study looks at a New Zealand example, many of the pressures facing pathology services are typical of medical laboratories worldwide. General issues of performance measurement are discussed.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 2002

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