AACN - The Start

As California-based American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) grew, the elaborate spreadsheets that housed the information of over 25 different departments quickly became obsolete. With Board and Leadership Reports needed year-round, AACN needed a solution that could construct its strategic plan and allow these departments to see how they are contributing to organization-wide goals. The antiquated practices of using Excel to piece together individual department's contributions into this Board Report was extremely time consuming and was limiting AACN's ability to think and act strategically.

In Search of a Solution

Recognizing the need to have the right tool to manage the plan they had implemented, AACN searched for a platform to leverage a Balanced Scorecard. As AACN began leveraging ClearPoint, they implemented a BSC approach with a focus on four perspectives, Financial, Customer Satisfaction, Internal Processes, and Learning and Development. Each of these perspectives contributed five total measures to the BSC. Each department had their own scorecards, as cross-scorecard collaboration and information-sharing was critical. ClearPoint saved AACN massive amounts of time on data and information gathering and consolidating, as Tracey Birosak, Business Strategy Specialist, no longer needed to work with individual departments to consolidate the information manually. ClearPoint allowed her to trim a week-long process down to a 10-minute report click. Despite this, leadership recognized that the Balanced Scorecard was not providing enough insight into how well the organization was doing at attaining their goals. So, they sought a replacement methodology.

Finding a New Model

The concept of transitioning an organization from one framework to another can seem daunting. However, Tracey mentioned that "when we were ready to implement a new performance measurement model, the ClearPoint tool offered the flexibility we needed to make the change." After some internal research, the model that AACN agreed upon was the Input-Impact Model, also known as I2I.  ClearPoint provided the flexibility that allowed AACN to pivot from the BSC approach to this I2I model that better suits the organization's goals. This model has five key elements, each serving their own purpose. Impacts, outcomes, and outputs focus on AACN's Intended Results, while activities and inputs focus on AACN's Planned Work. The Planned Work feeds into the Intended Results. As AACN continues to focus on activities and inputs, they will continue to make fundamental changes in their community. From top to bottom, the model goes as follows:

  1. Impacts - Fundamental changes
  2. Outcomes - Effects on community members
  3. Outputs - Internal and external (what is produced and who is reached with deliverables)
  4. Activities - What they do
  5. Inputs - What they invest

Each of these components has a different timeline. The approach allows AACN to see how they are progressing towards shorter term outcomes, tracked on one to three-year intervals, such as influence on community members. At the same time, AACN has the capability to see how they're achieving high, societal level impacts, tracked every three to five years. These high-level impacts and outcomes are also reported directly to the AACN Board. What has been most valuable is getting this model implemented into ClearPoint so stakeholders can see how their work translates in the new system and how it relates to them.


After a few months of getting everything set up properly, AACN has been able to generate enterprise-wide reports from ClearPoint that go directly to the Board. These reports ultimately allow AACN to see their progress against desired outcomes and impacts, which refers specifically to influence on community members and societal impact. As Tracey states, "We were able to realign our planned work to our desired results and create new custom reports to help us see the impact of our efforts on our nursing community."