Page 25

Health System Management • January 2017

25 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BENCHMARK? Benchmarking offers a variety of benefits — most of which can be fully realized when the measurements are timed to yield meaningful action. • Benchmarking is valuable when healthcare decision makers provide feedback and training to colleagues or organizations that are struggling to meet a performance goal. Often, the best practices one uses to boost underperformers can be found from best performers’ processes for a specific benchmark measure. After analyzing the data, decision makers can identify proven techniques and processes of top performers and share them with underperformers. To illustrate, in a study by the American Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. (AAAHC) Institute on myringotomy1, one organization had much higher average pre-procedure (check-in to procedure start) times than its peers. The organization scheduled all patients and their parents/caregivers to arrive at 8 a.m., and each patient was called back for the procedure when the surgeon was finishing the previous patient on the list for the day. This method led to very long wait times compared to other organizations’ scheduling methods. When the organization compared its scheduling process to others, it discovered more effective practices that reduced wait times, increased efficiency and potentially increased patient/caregiver satisfaction. The scheduling approach and other processes of top performers equipped the underperforming organization with a foundation for developing a QI study. • Another good time to launch a benchmarking initiative is when an organization or colleagues within an organization start to show signs of complacency because they believe their performance is equal to or better than their peers. Most providers don’t really know how they compare to their peers until their performance has been measured against that of peers. For example, peer review (internal benchmarking) can find that some anes- “Often underused, external benchmarking is an evaluation tool that gathers performance data to determine where a healthcare organization stands relative to peer organizations.”


Health System Management • January 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above