Page 26

Health System Management • January 2017

26 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM “Most providers don’t really know how they compare to their peers until their performance has been measured against that of peers.” thesia providers used by an organization routinely have longer recovery times (procedure finish to patient medically ready for discharge) than others. Assuming these providers see the same case mix, the findings can spur a QI study to set goals, as well as examine and compare methods between providers. This may reveal that some providers are better at titrating anesthesia for early patient recovery. The quality improvement intervention could include pairing providers with faster recovery times with those with slower recovery times to demonstrate the optimal titration methods. • When a healthcare organization tries to identify a problem and set realistic, measureable goals for a QI study, one easy way is to look at benchmarking results. Gathering peer best practices and metrics provides organizations with insights into the performance level that is achievable in their field. After setting goals based on best performers’ achievements, organizations can continually identify opportunities to improve. This can take some time to accomplish, which is why regular benchmarking can “jumpstart” learning best practices and accelerate quality improvement success. One of the AAAHC Institute’s Innovations in Quality Improvement Award-winning organizations was experiencing a high level of broken endoscopes and wanted to know whether other organizations have similar issues with their endoscopes breaking, or if there was a problem with the way the organization uses or handles its endoscopes. In this example, the benchmarking showed that other organizations did not have as high levels of broken endoscopes because they have developed processes for evenly rotating the use of endoscopes, and had invited manufacturers’ representatives to do in-service presentations regarding special handling. Learning these best practices assisted the organization in designing a QI study with specific goals and improvement interventions focused on scope rotation and in-service presentations on scope handling. The areas of underperformance became the focal point, and the benchmarking metrics were used to set achievable measurable goals. Best performance of peers was set as the improvement goal, and corrective actions were established using peer best practices. WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO CONSIDER WHEN BENCHMARKING? Benchmarking may require significant manpower and resources to complete. Be sure to consider the costs and logistics before launching into benchmarking activities. The following functions are key: • Find and recruit peers (for external benchmarking) • Identify what exactly to measure • Analyze the data and report the results • Maintain confidentiality of providers and patients involved If the healthcare organization does not have the means to accomplish these tasks alone, there are third-party providers that conduct end-to-end benchmarking or offer component parts such as useful resources or assistance analyzing results and implementing improvement actions. Embarking on a benchmarking activity involves planning and employment of resources. Therefore, make sure your benchmarking activities are meaningful to your organization to ensure you get the most out of the experience and its results — and ultimately achieve quality improvement. REFERENCE 1. American Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc. website. AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement Identifies Practices that Promote Efficiency, Cost-Effectiveness in Outpatient Surgery Centers Performing Myringotomy. 2005. https://eweb.aaahc.org/docs/iqi_rel_10_24_05b.pdf ANALYTICS HEALTH SYSTEM MANAGEMENT | JANUARY | 2017 WEBEXTRA For information on additional strategies used to measure healthcare quality, read “Directions in Healthcare Quality Measurement” at www. HealthSystemMgmt.com


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