Combining Impact Measurement and Management: A Case Study in Improving Elderly Care in the UK

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Summary: The case study shows how combining impact measurement and management improved after-care support for elderly patients in a UK health organization. Patient outcomes improved significantly through data-driven insights, staff training, and real-time feedback.

Impact measurement and management are essential for achieving an organization’s purpose and strategic goals. This article presents a case study of a UK-based health organization that wanted to improve its after-care support packages for elderly patients. By combining impact measurement with impact management, the organization could effectively use the insights from their data. The article highlights the importance of an impact-led strategy, communicating and embedding impact within an organization. The case study demonstrates how a streamlined data collection process using technology and staff training resulted in improved efficiencies and better outcomes for patients. The article concludes that impact measurement and management activities are focused on maximizing impact for people, communities, the economy, and the environment and can demonstrate value beyond monetary measures.

Effective impact measurement and management are crucial for organizations to achieve their purpose and strategic goals. Historically, organizations have focused on impact measurement without conducting impact management.  While impact measurement alone is beneficial, it lacks the ability to interpret the data collected and form an actionable opinion. By combining impact measurement with impact management, organizations can effectively use the insights from their data to drive change, including how they operate as an organization, the future strategy and direction, and future product and service innovation.  This article presents a case study of a UK-based health organization that wanted to improve its after-care support packages for elderly patients when they were returning home.  Their anecdotal data showed that after-care support was not always right or effective – but they had no evidence to back this up, nor any real insights into what worked or did not work, and no data to show the impact they were (or were not) achieving.

When working with organizations, there are three crucial components: impact-led strategy, communicating impact, and embedding impact. An impact-led strategy helps improve decision-making and strategic focus by prioritizing positive impacts and acting to minimize negative impacts. Communicating impact ensures a clear understanding at all levels within an organization of why and how the impact is being measured, what is being done with the data, how findings will be shared, and how improvements will be implemented. Embedding impact ensures that individuals understand how their role contributes to delivering impact. It is part of their performance objectives and is regularly included in meeting agendas and discussions. These components are necessary for work to measure and manage the impact to be short-lived.

In this case study, we worked with the senior leadership team to develop an impact-led strategy by identifying their impact priorities through conversations with key stakeholders, including patients, staff, and the senior leadership team. This focused on impact measurement and management activities by establishing 2-3 priority impacts for each stakeholder group.  We then identified the data that was currently being captured to understand how the impact was captured, communicated, and embedded within the organization. With this information, we developed a streamlined data collection system that linked directly to their impact priorities and could be embedded within their operational processes.  The system used technology as much as possible to remove manual data collection activities and to automate the data analysis phase, thereby minimizing the burden on staff members. A fundamental guideline is that data collection should not be demanding or too time-consuming – otherwise, staff members will avoid doing it.  Alongside this, the work is underpinned by the Principles of Social Value (Social Value International, 2022), which include involving stakeholders, understanding what changes, measuring what matters to your stakeholders, being transparent about your findings, and being responsive. 

The data collection process was trialed over two months to gather sufficient data to identify emerging themes and patterns and any process improvements. The resulting impact data revealed that 237 of 611 patients were discharged without their after-care support package, leading to re-admissions and an additional cost of £129,402 (GMCA, 2022). As a result of these findings, staff training was implemented to ensure patients had after-care support packages before discharge. The impact was included in regular team meetings, with weekly performance against target outcome levels reviewed. Over the next six months, the data showed an improvement, with 83% of patients having after-care support packages in place, potentially reducing the risk of re-admissions and additional costs in the region of £750,000 per annum.

The organization went on to establish benchmarks for performance against outcomes and impacts to support its renewed focus on maximizing the impact of its services.  Benchmarks were a valuable tool for making informed decisions on an ongoing basis using real-time data to promptly identify and address potential issues and deliver continuous improvement.  This is advantageous compared to organizations with a time lag between data collection and analysis, as delayed analysis can result in poor delivery quality and reduced outcomes and impacts, whereas utilizing real-time data can lead to more effective decision-making and improved outcomes.

This case study demonstrates how measuring and managing impact can provide important insights into operational issues and highlight the potential for improved individual efficiency and outcomes. Improved staff engagement was an additional benefit, as staff could directly see how they were making a difference in patients’ lives. Ultimately, all impact measurement and management activities are focused on maximizing impact for people, communities, the economy, and the environment. Demonstrating the value of measuring and managing impact can be something other than monetary through potential cost savings. Still, it could equally be evidence of a gradual increase in positive outcomes, improved staff engagement and morale, and better decision-making, as this case study has shown.


  1. GMCA - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (2022). Unit Cost Database. Retrieved 31 March 2023 from
  2. Social Value International (2022). Principles of Social Value. Retrieved 31 March 2023 from

To cite this article, please use:

Fisher, H. (2023). Combining Impact Measurement and Management: A Case Study in improving Elderly Care in the UK. Asian Impact Management Review, Volume 2 (1), Summer 2023.

About the Author

Heidi Fisher

Heidi is a multi-award-winning specialist in social enterprise and social impact. She received an MBE for Services to Innovation in Social Enterprise and to Impact Measurement in the 2020 New Year Honours. Heidi has worked with over 2,100 social enterprises, ranging from start-ups through to those with over £1 billion of income supporting them to become more sustainable, develop their trading income and to better measure, manage and communicate the impact they have. The focus of her work is with health and wellbeing organisations. Heidi’s background is as a Chartered Accountant, having trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is author of two books, Social Enterprise: How to successfully set up and grow a social enterprise, and Impact First: The social entrepreneur’s guide to measuring, managing and growing your impact. Her vision is a world where all businesses are social enterprises that positively impact people and the planet. Heidi is passionate about leaving a positive legacy for her children and society by making impact matter to everyone, everywhere, every time.

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