Principles for designing indicators and targets
37. If we are to adopt a rational system of targets and indicators for health and social care, we need to agree the aim of the system, the outcomes which would deliver that aim, and we need to understand what action could be taken that would deliver those outcomes. Once we know the drivers of improvement, we can then identify the indicators that would reassure us that improvement is taking place. Once the indicators are known to provide useful information, targets for improvement might be set.
38. As already described, any new indicators should be pragmatic, coproduced with staff and those who access the services they measure. They should be subject to regular review to ensure they remain relevant. They should provide information on the whole performance of a system and not be based on a snapshot of one aspect of that system. Such snapshot can only tell whether a target is being reached. They cannot provide information as to why the system might not be reaching the target.