What Is Benchmarking in Health Care? (Plus 4 Types)

Benchmarking is a comparison and measurement of a healthcare organization’s services against other national healthcare organizations. It provides leaders with insight to help them understand how their organization compares with similar organizations that provide the same services.

Health Care Benchmarking

Benefits of health care benchmarking

Organizational leaders can identify goals through benchmarking and create detailed action plans to achieve those goals. It might make it possible for advancements like improved communication methods or more potent patient engagement techniques. Here are some other benefits to this activity:

What is benchmarking in health care?

Comparing an organization to benchmarks or industry standards is the process of benchmarking in the healthcare industry. These requirements may be established by regulatory bodies or met by leading medical organizations. Benchmarks serve as goals to strive for in daily operations. This procedure serves as a means of assessing and comprehending how well a healthcare facility is performing its duties. Medical organizations can use benchmarks to collect data, analyze it, and discover useful information about their performance and success.

Employing a benchmark enables organization leaders to compare their facility to those of their rivals, identify areas for improvement and strengths, address problems, set goals, and carry out quality improvement initiatives. Businesses may decide to evaluate the effectiveness of distinct clinicians, departments, or entire organizations. By encouraging healthy competition between organizations, benchmarking can motivate them to pursue and implement continuous improvement. The following areas may benefit from improvements facilitated by this tactic:

Types of health care benchmarking

Business leaders can compare various aspects of a healthcare facility using benchmarking, a type of comparative analysis, to gain various types of insights. Here are four types of health care benchmarking:

1. Internal benchmarking

The process of comparing statistics between various departments within the same integrated delivery network or organization is known as internal benchmarking. To ensure uniform patient care and service, a leader might, for instance, compare the patient satisfaction rates between a hospital’s emergency, cardiology, intensive care unit, and neurology departments. Additionally, they may look at statistics like 30-day readmission rates, average hospital stays, patient drug costs per stay, and rates of hospital-acquired conditions.

2. Competitive benchmarking

Comparing one facility to others in the same industry that are similar is known as competitive benchmarking. Comparing organizations that share characteristics, such as region, size, or patient population, is most advantageous and accurate. Comparable to competitive landscape analysis among for-profit companies operating in various markets is the competitive benchmarking process. It enables businesses to learn how they compare to rivals and gauge how they perform across a range of categories.

3. Functional benchmarking

Comparing an organization to groups in industries other than healthcare, such as education, finance, information technology, manufacturing, business, and agriculture, is a process known as functional benchmarking. Business leaders can learn about new tactics they haven’t thought of by examining alternative fields. They can then integrate practical techniques into the operational procedures at their facility. For instance, a healthcare facility might profit from learning about IT security and systems to safeguard sensitive patient data and fend off malware and hacking.

4. Generic benchmarking

Comparing generic processes and workflows in one healthcare facility to generic practices in other industries is known as generic benchmarking. For instance, a company might contrast the methods used to gather patient feedback with those used in the food service sector. The use of patient engagement techniques, appointment scheduling software, and check-in technology are additional examples.

How to set up health care benchmarks

Many healthcare facilities can create useful benchmarks and carry out effective improvement initiatives with the right planning and collaboration. Here are five steps for how to do so successfully:

1. Establish a peer group

Identifying the organizations to which your healthcare facility will be compared is the first step in conducting a benchmark analysis. You can use this peer group of organizations to compare various statistics by creating a matrix using them. Select a total of five to ten organizations that offer similar services, have similar characteristics, or share similar interests. Accurate comparison outcomes can be achieved by ensuring that the type of healthcare facility, patients, and treatments are similar.

For instance, you might decide to support organizations that operate similar facilities to your own. Here are some examples:

When creating your peer group, keep the following qualities in mind:

2. Choose key benchmarks

Pick five to ten important goals for your peer group to work toward after it has been formed. Make sure to select a manageable number of goals for your facility’s team. You may measure factors like patient characteristics, processes or outcomes. Here are some ideas for guiding metrics:

3. Gain support from management

After defining a peer group and selecting goals to begin the benchmarking process, it’s crucial to get management support for the project. To discuss the advantages a benchmarking project could offer the organization and patient outcomes, think about scheduling a meeting with a manager or executive at the healthcare facility. After that, you can collaborate with them to create a strategic course, develop goals, and set up interventions to achieve those goals. It’s crucial to allocate enough time, money, and personnel to carry out these interventions successfully.

4. Host a forum

Hosting a forum with important facility staff members can be beneficial after finalizing an initial plan with management. Present the benchmarking plan and information on best practices initiatives in this forum. Team members can then express their opinions and ask questions. The knowledge gained from the experience of nurses, doctors, lab technicians, administrative assistants, and other healthcare professionals may help to improve benchmarking. Hosting this team meeting can also promote a shared understanding of quality and improvement, inspiring participants to achieve challenging objectives.

5. Form a task group

Creating a task force or committee for your benchmarking project might be a smart idea. The committee’s composition may change depending on the type of benchmarking you’re doing. For instance, it might be beneficial to request that each department head join the benchmarking task group if you intend to compare performance across departments. People on this team may be in charge of tracking advancement toward benchmark objectives and determining protocol adherence. They can routinely audit clinical procedures to make sure the intended effects are realized.

To automate benchmarking and goal-setting tasks and quickly and effectively collect data, think about using software tools. The task group can use a variety of applications and electronic health record systems to help with data analysis. These resources could offer a central database and dashboard where team members could view the most important metrics and objectives. These programs frequently operate in the cloud, allowing users to access, edit, update, save, and share data instantly from any computer or other device with an internet connection.


What is an example of benchmarking in healthcare?

For instance, a hospital may use internal benchmarking to assess the current practices in each department and then set objectives for 100% hand hygiene compliance throughout the hospital if they want to improve hand washing and sanitizing practices to prevent infections.

What is benchmarking in care?

According to DH (2010b), clinical benchmarking is “a systematic process in which current practice and care are compared to, and amended to achieve, best practice and care.” A system called benchmarking offers a structured method for realistic and encouraging practice development.

How is benchmarking accomplished in healthcare?

Introducing AI to Benchmarking Healthcare benchmarking aims to increase effectiveness, care quality, patient safety, and satisfaction. The procedure entails examining standards, best practices, and evidence-based practices before locating potential improvement areas.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *