Benefits Realisation in Acute Hospitals in England – A Strategic Management Perspective

Teresa S Waring, Andrew Robson, Rebecca Casey


Purpose of article

Benefits realisation (BR) is a term that is applied within the both the private and public sector to try to ensure that IT projects deliver a number of benefits to stakeholders as well as a return on investment. The English NHS views BR as an essential part of their IT enabled transformation programme but whether it is a core organisational capability is not understood. The purpose of this article is to explore whether a benefits realisation approach to IT investment is a strategic organisational capability that is evident in the acute hospital sector.


A survey of all the English NHS acute hospitals was carried out in summer 2013. The questionnaire was sent out to all directors of finance, nursing and IT. The questionnaire was based on research conducted by Ashurst and Hodges (2010) and interpreted to provide an NHS context.


Responses were received from 54 per cent of the targeted hospitals and the results indicate that development of the business case remains the place for identification of system benefits although the intended recipients of those benefits are changing from management to patients. Training for benefits realisation is an issue and many hospitals do not appear to have a process in place for developing staff competencies in this area.


This research has never been undertaken before within the context of the NHS and would suggest that if benefits realisation is to be useful in delivering successful IT projects then much more needs to be done in developing staff across the hospitals and viewing BR as a core organisational capability.

Supplementary files: Data file; Peer Review and Authors' Response


benefits realisation; implementation of IT; survey; NHS hospitals

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