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Implementing and using patient-level information and costing systems

Final Report Summary - PLICS (Implementing and using patient-level information and costing systems)

This project had the objective understand how management accounting may contribute to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational processes, the organisation’s performance and its long-term survival. It looked at this issue in the field of healthcare, and more specifically in management accounting for healthcare services in the public sector healthcare providers.
Healthcare providers in the EU public sector have costing systems which produce low quality cost data. This is linked with the historical purpose of these systems of allocating costs rather than managing costs. However the present situation of economic crisis requires that decisions-makers at all levels manage costs, i.e. make important cost savings while maintaining quality of care. In order to be able to do this the technical characteristics of existing systems need to be improved.
The challenge for research in this area is to
• Analyze the interplay between technical characteristics of management accounting tools, wider structural factors, behaviours and outcomes
• Produce evidence on the impact of technical features of management accounting tools on the quality and relevance of cost information, on clinical engagement and outcomes
• Provide conceptual guidance to support the improvement of national guidelines

These challenges were pursued within this EC funded research project I. They were supported though the following actions:
1) Challenge: Analyze the interplay between technical characteristics of tools, wider structural factors, behaviours and outcomes Actions: In depth field studies in selected EU hospitals, academic presentations and publications, EU workshop
2) Challenge: Produce evidence on the impact of technical characteristics of management accounting tools on the quality and relevance of cost information, on clinical engagement and outcomes
Actions: EU grant submission, academic presentations and publications
3) Challenge: Provide conceptual guidance to support the improvement of national and EU guidelines
Actions: CIMA discussion paper, CIMA report, Discussion forums, policy discussion, dialogue with DH, EU network, call text in 7th framework programme, EU workshop