Benchmarking Process in Healthcare

The Hillingdon Hospital in North West London had a problem of having frail patients with different medical conditions. An old model with two consultant ward rounds per week was being used. A junior medical team member or a consultant on a need basis would see patients at different times apart from the ward rounds (The Hillingdon Hospital, 2017). The patients required intensive physiotherapy, but such services were only available during weekdays.

Therefore, they would go for 2 days without physiotherapy, thus affecting the recovery progress. The hospital benchmarked using the Older People’s Care in Acute Settings protocol on ways to improve service delivery. During the benchmarking period, a consultant would review the patients daily, and physiotherapy services were available over the weekends. After the pilot study, patients had reduced stay in the hospital and improved experience. Additionally, the discharge of long-stay patients was expedited together with improved management of deterioration.

This case helped me understand that benchmarking does not necessarily have to be compared with other organizations. It can be against set industry standards to determine if they can function in a given set-up. The Hillingdon Hospital discovered that it could use the Older People’s Care in Acute Settings benchmark to improve its service delivery.

Benchmarking allows an organization to learn from its peers on the management of a particular aspect for resource optimization (Mulva & Dai, 2009). Companies learn of best practices that have worked elsewhere (Ettorchi-Tardy, Levif, & Michel, 2012; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2013). For instance, if a given hospital is saving 5 million dollars in a year by using a certain admission procedure, then the benchmarking entity could decide to adopt the same strategy.

Similarly, a competitor company may be performing exemplary in sales due to good bonus packages given to its marketing team. Therefore, the benchmarking counterpart could integrate the same bonus model to improve its sales. Given that benchmarking is done against successful peers in the industry, a company ends up making the right financial decisions based on proven strategies.

However, if a company compares itself with an organization that is not a credible match, it may end up making wrong financial decisions, hence losses (Baker, Baker, & Dworkin, 2018). For instance, a small firm may be performing well in one aspect, like a marketing approach. However, that strategy may not be applicable to a large organization covering a diverse client base. Therefore, if the large entity benchmarks against the small firm and makes a decision based on the results, it may end up making losses due to reduced sales because the adopted strategy is wrong.

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2013). Measuring and benchmarking clinical performance. Web.

Mulva, S., & Dai, J. (2009). Health care facility benchmarking. HERD, 3(1), 28–37.

Ettorchi-Tardy, A., Levif, M., & Michel, P. (2012). Benchmarking: A method for continuous quality improvement in health. Healthcare Policy, e101-e119. Web.

The Hillingdon Hospital. (2017). An Older People’s Care in Acute Settings case study. Web.