A revised approach to performance measurement for health-care estates

Daryl May and Ilfryn Price

E-mail: [email protected]

The purpose of the research was to show how lean asset thinkingcan be applied to UK health-care facilities using differentmeasures to compare the estates contribution to the businessof health-care providers. The challenge to conventional wisdommatches that posed by ‘Lean Production’ to ‘MassManufacturing’. Data envelope analysis examined the incomegenerated and patient-occupied area as outputs from the grossarea of a NHS Trust’s estate. The approach yielded strategiccomparisons that conventional facilities management measuresof cost per square metre hide. The annual cost of an excessestate is conservatively estimated at £600,000,000 (inEngland alone). Further research to understand the causes ofthe excess is needed. Meanwhile the research illustrates thepower of an alternative way of assessing facilities performance.The authors are not aware of the lean asset perspective previouslybeing applied to health-care facilities. The research showsthe underlying fallacy of relying on cost per square metre asthe primary measure of asset performance. The results and discussionwill be particularly useful to senior estates and facilitiesmanagers wishing to use new measures to define strategic estatestargets.