Overview of Benchmarking in Healthcare Settings

Healthcare providers have always tried to maintain certain standards of excellence in their care of patients. As each healthcare organization has attempted to make and reach quality control goals in patient care, it has been difficult to accurately assess this progress without needed data. Healthcare administrators are responsible for ensuring that the patient care meets expected local and national set standards that help determine a particular healthcare provider’s operating programs. Benchmarking is using known standards of excellence to better determine the hospital or other healthcare organization’s existing performance level.


Healthcare operations need to ensure a high quality of care to avoid patient injury or dissatisfaction with their care. Benchmarking looks at a specific identified problem and compares the accumulated data on this subject with other competitive healthcare groups. The term can also indicate a sharing of specific data and information to come up with a plan to better performance in all healthcare settings. This second type of collaborative benchmarking seeks to share targeted information in hopes that better standards of care will be adopted in all healthcare institutions and organizations. This detailed information must be accurately inputted so the data will not be compromised.


To initiate positive changes in healthcare procedures, healthcare administrators often use charts to explain the process. The information included in this infographic design will be divided into 9 different steps or categories. This provides a visual means to complete the entire process. For benchmarking methods to be successful in a healthcare setting, the data needs to be precise and relevant. Administrators use this model to problem solve ways to better care. This might be focusing on a specific health condition like patient falls. Data is collected on falls within the ER, on the hospital floors, in patient bathrooms or a fall out of bed.


Wise administrators get employee input on how to resolve the targeted problem. The ER could staff an extra person when confused patients are being treated. Floor nurses could ensure that patients have on non-slip socks before walking. Nursing assistants can ensure that patients are assessed often for needing to use the restroom. After the data is collected, a plan of action like those above are then initiated. The problem will be monitored for a time after a problem stabilizes. These nine steps are more involved in real life situations. This trend towards using infographics and benchmarking measures is part of a widespread movement in healthcare to perform continuous quality based improvement plans.


Hospital and most other healthcare leaders and administrative staff are the ones that typically set these benchmarking goals. The administrators also rely heavily on employee involvement and more inter-department and inter-discipline interaction. These types of current administration modules are taught in online programs offering health administration degree education. Students learn to plan, assess and initiate methods of addressing problems common in their unique settings. These methods enable better organization and employee compliance regarding these goals and resolutions.


Careers in health administration are skyrocketing to meet these healthcare organization’s special needs. The rising healthcare costs and stricter insurance payment criteria have made it even more difficult for healthcare organizations to remain afloat in the healthcare competitive market. Top health administrators can develop new ways to improve services and keep patient satisfaction rates high.