The Role of Benchmarking in the Healthcare Quality Improvement

The concept of quality improvement is vital for any organization that strives to meet the competition rates set in the market of its choice. The application of benchmarking plays a vital role in healthcare since it allows controlling the quality and efficacy of the administered treatment. By delineating key quality criteria and introducing them into the target nursing setting, one will be able to benchmark quality improvement effectively and control the development of critical skills in nurses.

The use of benchmarking in healthcare serves several critical purposes, the task of determining problems in the existing performance being the key one. By comparing the observed performance rates to the ones that are set as the model health practice, healthcare organizations can isolate the main issues that affect the efficacy of healthcare service delivery. The specified process offers multiple advantages, one of which includes revisiting quality standards in the clinical setting. Due to the introduction of new interventions, medications, and health management options, quality criteria for treatment and health management must be updated regularly. In turn, benchmarking allows for the specified objects to be accomplished since it leads to the reassessment of the existing quality criteria and the processes used to ensure quality management. Consequently, the efficacy of treatment opportunities is amplified after benchmarking is performed in the clinical context.

In healthcare, benchmarking is a rather widespread technique that allows managing the quality of services offered to patients. Namely, the process of benchmarking in healthcare occurs as specific standards are accepted as the points of comparison, and the efficacy of internal processes of an organization is measured to be compared to the specified criteria. The described approach allows determining the efficacy of current practices objectively and identifying gaps in quality management, which serve as the indicators of possible improvements to be made in the future. As a result, health experts can set the course for continuous improvement and the integration of incremental innovations into specific healthcare settings (Gatbonton, 2019). In turn, the role of incremental innovations and unceasing improvement implies the ability to adjust to changes within the healthcare context and incorporate innovative solutions to the target environments so that vulnerable audiences could utilize them for addressing unique public health issues.

In professional nursing practice, the concept of quality improvement and the related benchmarking tasks are typically prioritized as some of the principal tasks that must be carried out to ensure that patients’ needs are met. Specifically, the use of information obtained with the help of evidence-based practice is incorporated into the development of new standards for nursing practice that serve as benchmarks for effective implementation of the necessary tasks for managing patients’ health (Gatbonton, 2019). An example of the described procedure would involve revisiting the existing standards for building patients’ awareness concerning the prevention of respiratory diseases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Namely, policies regarding the use of digital tools for enhancing communication with patients to provide support while reducing their exposure to health risks could be seen as an example of benchmarking in nursing.

Outlining the main quality performance standards in the specified nursing setting and incorporating new suggestions for addressing some of the quality concerns, one will be able to improve the current set of requirements for nurses in the context of clinical care. As a result, nurses will be able to deliver healthcare services that meet the established healthcare criteria. Therefore, the concept of benchmarking quality improvement in a healthcare environment should be recognized as one of the steps toward significant quality improvement or, at the very least, effective quality management in healthcare.

Reference

Gatbonton, R. R. G. (2019). Decisional involvement on work quality of nurses. Nursing and Palliative Care International Journal, 2(1), 21-27. Web.