Performance Management

Performance management encompasses the ongoing process of measuring, monitoring, and reporting of progress toward strategic organization, division, and program goals and objectives.1 Performance management is closely linked with quality improvement (QI), as it provides a structured, data-driven approach to identifying and prioritizing opportunities for improvement. However, performance management is distinct from quality improvement. Performance management is the continuous use of four components: performance standards, performance measures, reporting of progress, and quality improvement.

The NACCHO PI team is pleased to announce the release of a new resource, Measuring What Matters in Public Health: A Health Department’s Guide to Performance Management. This resource offers a simple 7 step process to developing a formal, agency-wide performance management system. The resource also includes stories from the field which translate theory into practice and each step is also supplemented with editable worksheets, spreadsheets, and templates which can be tailored to meet agency-specific needs. Each worksheet and template included in the guide is linked below.

See NACCHO's June 2018 webinar Performance Management: Measuring What Matters in Public Health. The webinar offers a preview of the guide and features speakers from two local health departments describing their performance management systems.

If you are just getting started with performance management or trying to make the one you have more “systematic”, it makes sense to consider a performance management framework. Below are some common performance management frameworks and a brief description. “Regardless of the PM framework utilized, all reinforce several central tenets such as customer focus; streamlined, value added processes; and strategic alignment. All steer QI efforts toward organizational priorities, ensuring that QI complements PM rather than competes with it.”2

2. Beitsch LM, Yeager VA, Moran JW. Utilizing performance management to harness the power of quality improvement in public health. Front Public Health Serv Sys Res 2015; 4(5):33–8. http://uknowledge.uky.edu/frontiersinphssr/vol4/iss5/6/.

Frameworks:

  • Baldrige Performance Excellence – measures organizational health across 7 domains (leadership, strategy, customers, operations, workforce, results)
    • PHAB/Baldrige Crosswalk – A crosswalk between the PHAB standards and the Baldrige criteria which includes descriptions of how the standards align across each respective framework.
  • Balanced Scorecard – measures organizational health across 4 domains (financial, customer/stakeholder, internal business process, and organizational capacity/workforce
  • Results-Based Accountability – An approach to measuring impact at the community or population level. This helps organizations think through their role in the broader community context so you can identify the metrics that focus on whether improvements are the result of your services.

Combined QI/PM plans

Jackson County, OR -Adopted 2017

Lane County, OR - Adopted 2017

Wedco County, KY-Adapted 2017

*These documents were evaluated against the PHAB Standards and Measures Version 1.5 by NACCHO Staff. These individuals, based on their understanding of the standards and measures, have classified them as meeting the PHAB requirements and being high-quality documents. These have not been approved by PHAB or any PHAB site visitors for the purposes of meeting relevant standards and measures.


  1. Turning Point Performance Management National Excellence Collaborative. From Systems to Silos: Using Performance Management to Improve the Public’s Health. Retrieved from http://www.turningpointprogram.org/pages/pdfs/perform_manage/pmc_silos_to_systems.pdf