This paper adapts the perspective of organizational contingency theory to consider the changing nature of how the economic impact of nursing care upon health care organizations is measured. It is argued that useful measures of the economic impact of nursing care are a function of environmental, organizational, and technological circumstances. The increasing and diverse demands of health care consumers (environmental), the dramatic restructuring and re-engineering of the health care delivery system (organizational), and recent developments in the capabilities of and insights from information measurement practices (technological), have all provided opportunities for more meaningful measurement of the contributions of nursing care to the economic well-being of health care organizations.
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Mark A. Covaleski PhD is the Robert Beyer Professor of Managerial Accounting, Graduate School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
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