The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Douglas Orens, Robert L. Chatburn; Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

BACKGROUND: The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) has established a productivity benchmarking service ( Unlike other similar services, this one bases metrics on abbreviated data from only 3 billable procedures: mechanical ventilator-days, airway clearance treatments, and aerosol treatments. The system was designed this way on the assumption that these 3 procedures comprise the majority of the workload for all departments and hence would provide an adequate surrogate for recording all workload. The purpose of this study was to test that hypothesis. METHODS: Monthly procedure work units for 2009 were recorded using our billing volumes and the AARC benchmark reporting format (3 billable procedures) and standard procedure times (see website). For the same period, work units (all billable procedures) were recorded from data generated by our hospital’s management engineering department as part of our regular management reporting system. The two data sets were compared using linear regression. RESULTS: The figures show that the abbreviated data set of the AARC benchmarking system was highly correlated with the total workload data set (R = 0.8, P = 0.004). AARC Benchmark workloads were consistently higher than hospital reported workloads despite the abbreviated data set because the former weights a ventilator-day at 3 hours of standard time whereas the latter weights it at 0.25 hours. CONCLUSION: The purpose of using an abbreviated data set is to allow benchmarking across departments whose total set of procedures varies greatly. The results of this study indicate that for benchmarking purposes, an abbreviated set that is based on billing data for only the number of ventilator-days, airway clearance treatments, and aerosol treatments is an acceptable surrogate for total workload data based on all billable procedures. This information supports the AARC benchmarking metric calcul Sponsored Research - None