What do end-users want to know about managing the performance of healthcare delivery systems? Co-designing a context-specific and practice-relevant research agenda Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Despite increasing interest in joint research priority-setting, few studies engage end-user groups in setting research priorities at the intersection of the healthcare and management disciplines. With health systems increasingly establishing performance management programmes to account for and incentivize performance, it is important to conduct research that is actionable by the end-users involved with or impacted by these programmes. The aim of this study was to co-design a research agenda on healthcare performance management with and for end-users in a specific jurisdictional and policy context. Methods We undertook a rapid review of the literature on healthcare performance management (n = 115) and conducted end-user interviews (n = 156) that included a quantitative ranking exercise to prioritize five directions for future research. The quantitative rankings were analysed using four methods: mean, median, frequency ranked first or second, and frequency ranked fifth. The interview transcripts were coded inductively and analysed thematically to identify common patterns across participant responses. Results Seventy-three individual and group interviews were conducted with 156 end-users representing diverse end-user groups, including administrators, clinicians and patients, among others. End-user groups prioritized different research directions based on their experiences and information needs. Despite this variation, the research direction on motivating performance improvement had the highest overall mean ranking and was most often ranked first or second and least often ranked fifth. The research direction was modified based on end-user feedback to include an explicit behaviour change lens and stronger consideration for the influence of context. Conclusions Joint research priority-setting resulted in a practice-driven research agenda capable of generating results to inform policy and management practice in healthcare as well as contribute to the literature. The results suggest that end-users are keen to open the “black box” of performance management to explore more nuanced questions beyond “does performance management work?” End-users want to know how, when and why performance management contributes to behaviour change (or fails to) among front-line care providers.


  • Evans, Jenna
  • Gilbert, Julie E
  • Bacola, Jasmine
  • Hagens, Victoria
  • Simanovski, Vicky
  • Holm, Philip
  • Harvey, Rebecca
  • Blake, Peter G
  • Matheson, Garth

publication date

  • October 11, 2021