It’s not the metrics that count, but how they lead you to superior performance.
There is one overlooked fact about benchmarking; that it is the search for best practices that leads to superior performance. This is accomplished by utilizing metrics to determine performance “gaps” in your practices and then to understand why you are different from your benchmark partners. Or, where you are now vs. where you should be to meet or exceed your peers’ practices!
This fact was brought home clearly to us a few years ago when we were benchmarking a client’s forms’ cost. Our client’s cost per patient day was $1.26, but the best-in-class benchmark in this category of purchase was .09 cents. Or, a gap of $1.17. We couldn’t believe this was possible until we contacted the best-in-class hospital to understand what they were doing differently.
This mystery was quickly solved when we uncovered, by way of a discussion with their peer hospital, that they had gone 98% paperless. This then become our best-in-class best practice for forms that we recommend to our clients. Therefore, it’s not the metrics that count in benchmarking, but how they can lead you to superior performance at your own healthcare organization. That’s why blinded benchmarking studies never work; only customized studies can give you the right answers.