You cannot change what you cannot measure - News Releases

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You cannot change what you cannot measure

Dr. Paul Kurdyak

Over the past year, the MPA has refined its evaluation processes, measurement and reporting on initiatives, and deepening collaboration between partners.  Now, at the mid-way point in the MPA mandate, all MPA teams have contributed to an MPA scorecard, which highlights progress to date and will serve as a benchmark for the next stages of the MPA’s work.

Dr. Paul Kurdyak, MPA Director of Health Outcomes, sat down with Sandeep Dhaliwal, MPA Senior Communications Advisor, to answer some questions about the MPA scorecard and to share his thoughts on why it is so important to capture this type of data. 

Q:   Starting this spring, the MPA scorecard will provide our stakeholders with tangible data showing us how far we have come in the past three years, particularly relating to quality and access, the patient and family experience, and providers and partnerships. What are some of the initial trends you are noticing across this Scorecard?

A: The MPA is a complex initiative with partnerships across four organizations. I think one of the earliest trends we are seeing is the formation of a large number of providers and partnerships. We are also engaging more patients. In addition, the MPA has made great strides in developing new curriculum around the interface of medical and psychiatric illnesses, and this has translated into a big impact on the education and training of future health practitioners.

Q: What are some areas for MPA improvement, or where you see opportunity to develop further?

A: I don’t think this will be a surprise to anyone. We have been effective at developing initiatives, but less effective in creating the initiative-specific infrastructure that would facilitate outcome measurement. Specifically, we need to further develop the capacity to collect meaningful information regarding patients and providers who participate in MPA initiatives, to be able to determine whether what has been developed is ultimately successful.

Q: Why is it necessary to collect this scorecard data?

A: The scorecard is an important tool to provide feedback on whether the MPA is meeting its targets and adhering to the initial vision. Getting regular feedback from the scorecard allows for the MPA to ensure we are meeting our targets, and to facilitate course corrections in a timely manner when we are not. The unintended benefit of launching the scorecard was to provide a framework for people who are overseeing MPA initiatives to understand the importance of measurement, and infrastructure to collect data.

Q: The MPA’s mandate is to effect system-level transformation for patients living with both mental and physical illnesses. How do you envision this scorecard impacting the next three years of our MPA mandate?

A: The current scorecard has revealed that we need to quickly gain ground in our ability to measure the impact of the initiatives that have been implemented. This feedback will translate into more focusedeffort in building the capacity to do this. Without the scorecard, it would have been difficult to convince people of the need to create this capacity and infrastructure. More generally, the scorecard is a living document that will map the development, and ultimate success, of the MPA.

Q: The MPA teams across our partner sites have worked hard to pull this data together; what would your advice be to all of the project teams moving forward?

A: The data the teams required to populate the scorecard indicators is an essential foundation of the “MPA story.” Now, it is my hope that our MPA project teams will develop coherent measurement strategies that reflect the stories that each specific initiative needs to tell. The project teams and the partner sites also need to figure out a coherent way to collect this data so that it is efficient, complete and accurate.

Q: You are known for saying, “We cannot change what we cannot measure.”  In light of this scorecard, do you think we are measuring what we should?

I can’t take credit for that phrase, but it is true all the same! I think this scorecard has jump-started the measurement process. Having gone through the process now, people “get” the need to measure.  We need to build on this success so that we have all the relevant information, and an efficient process for collecting this information, to be able to determine the effectiveness of the MPA over time.