Healthcare AI: Moving toward Competitive Benchmarking

Healthcare AI: Moving toward Competitive Benchmarking

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Friday, February 15, 2019

The health benchmarking takes the performance measurements of a given organization and compares those by means of data from other similar organizations to standards developed. Leaders use benchmarking to know where an organization performs well and where improvements are needed. This information is generally used to identify opportunities for marketing and improvement initiatives. In a 2018 Health Catalyst survey, 72 percent of managers identified and prioritized opportunities for improvement that highlighted benchmarks. In addition, 22 percent indicated that the performance of an organization against benchmarks is the most important factor for determining which improvements initiatives can be launched, following the requirements for regulatory or reporting (25 percent) and team improvements (24 percent).

The goal of healthcare benchmarking is to increase efficiency, quality of care, safety, and satisfaction of patients. The process includes examining standards, best practices, and practices based on evidence, then identifying potential improvement areas. The application of Artificial Intelligence to the process permits fast and grain analysis of hospital data sets, which typically include both consumer and provider information of interest. In terms of competitive benchmarking, this is particularly advantageous.

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Benchmarking provides quality standards in healthcare practices. Health organizations with the benchmarking process have identified strengths and weaknesses, allowing for an improvement action plan. Health care is composed of several stakeholders, and each can benefit from improved quality and safety projects through benchmarking. Today, technology is ready to facilitate this process, borrowing from other industries, such as sports, software, and general philosophy.

Competitive benchmarking is different from internal benchmarking. This happens when an organization’s medical or hospital system compares functions, examines each area, and evaluates how it meets the defined standards and objectives. Competitive benchmarking occurs when one hospital analyzes the processes or services of another organization and compares its objectives or results with its own goals.

Some type of benchmarking is necessary to improve the processes and performance of an organization continuously. This is required by the new healthcare reform and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which has mandated value-based purchases. Hospitals must gain points to either achieve high-performance results about certain national measures against competitors or improve their baseline scores. These measures are also applicable to other types of medical facilities.

Healthcare facilities can undertake benchmarking initiatives, to name but a few, in the area of the supply chain, medical implant equipment, financial profitability, workforce performance, and capital and energy expenses. Thus they can adopt strategic initiatives and policies to optimize business performance with confidence, support data and real-world examples supporting their decision-making. They can then adopt best practices.

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