The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Garry Dukes1, Daniel J. Grady2, Todd McCarl2, Terrence F. Smith2; 1Respiratory Care, Carolinas Medical Center Northeast, Concord, NC; 2Respiratory Care, Mission Hospitals, Asheville, NC

Background: Benchmarking has been defined as “the continual and collaborative discipline of measuring and comparing the results of key work processes with those of the best performers in evaluating organizational performance” 1. Some proprietary consulting groups in the healthcare industry have deviated from this open, collaborative benchmarking process and use comparative data to determine staffing targets, productivity levels, and to manage expenses without regard to practice models and matching services. Methods: The validity of comparative data from a proprietary consulting company was evaluated by phone survey to 12 hospitals in the consulting company database. A total of 18 items related to service delivery were surveyed in12 hospitals for 216 (n = 216) measures. The match of services between the surveying hospital and the others in the database was determined. The percentage match between the surveying hospital and the others in the database was assigned a letter grade based upon a traditional academic grade scale. For example, if 95% of the comparative group provided the same service as the surveying hospital, a grade of “A” was assigned for that item. A “report card” was generated to indicate the validity of service match by item for the comparative group. Results: Validity data are shown in the table below. For the 18 items compared to the surveying hospital RC department, the report card showed a total of 2 grades of “A”, 1 grade of “D”, and 12 grades of “ F” . Conclusions: The quality of comparative data provided by the proprietary consulting company matched very poorly with the surveying hospital RC services. We conclude that the data provided by the propietary consulting company was not valid. Because of the magnitude of crucial decisions in cost-containment, and the need for valid benchmarking to improve operational performance, this study has identified the need for national / state standards for quality assurance for comparative data provided by proprietary consulting companies. References: 1. Gift RG, Mosel D. Benchmarking in Health Care. Chicago, IL: American Hospital Publishing, Inc.,1994. p. 5. Sponsored Research - None