Confessions of a Health Professional
· What gets measured, gets managed ·

"We would deliberately misrecord the waiting times of patients awaiting treatment in order to hit targets." (Findings from 'Uses and abuses of performance data, April 2015)

Following the Government's recent announcement to trial social bonds in the mental health sector, there is growing concern that the target-driven mechanisms that determine funding within this system could provoke perverse behaviours such as data manipulation or resource diversion. While this may demonstrate a positive outcome in terms of targets reached, they could ultimately be detrimental to the overall health of a patient.

Inspired by​, we're collecting anonymous stories from health professionals in New Zealand who have worked in target-driven environments and witnessed or been a part of the unintended negative effects.

Do you or does someone you know work in a target-based environment? Do you have a story to tell about target-pressure that people need to hear?

Make an anonymous confession here. 

We'll be using the real-life stories we collect to raise the profile of the concerns surrounding the use of target-driven social bonds and engage more people in this conversation.
Please note: All submissions will remain anonymous
Submit your confession
Please note: This project is not about denigrating the good work of health professionals. Nor does it assume that targets and performance information cannot deliver real benefits in practice. It is essential, however, to identify and understand any unintended negative consequences of these systems. Our aim is to explore the question: do targets sometimes do more harm than good?

What is your profession?

ie. Doctor, Nurse, Psychotherapist
What is your confession?

Ideally we are looking for stories of people who have worked in the Health Sector and can give us concrete stories of the unintended effects of KPI and target-based performance, e.g. "perverse incentives"
Please confirm you are happy to submit the following:

Profession: {{answer_7877272}}
Confession: {{answer_7877657}}
Thank you.
Your confession was sent.

We'll be uploading some of them to our Facebook page over the coming weeks. You can check them out at

In the meantime, feel free to share this crowdsourcing campaign with your friends.