Before you start implementing the previously discussed HFMA, AHIMA, or HARA benchmarks, it’s important to take a step back and align your philosophical purpose with your planned path forward.
As part of this preparation, define what success will look like, have a plan to integrate benchmarks into your corporate culture, and incentivize your employees to share in the success.
Once you’ve developed your philosophy, you should create a framework that drives results. In order to benchmark successfully, you should:
- Select the processes you want to benchmark, such as Billing, Collections, etc.
- Understand specifically what your department’s problems are and clearly define what you intend to study and accomplish.
- Choose relevant measurements that have solid industry comparative benchmark data.
- Establish baselines and targets for the metrics you have selected and develop a benchmark comparison (click to enlarge):
- Study performance-boosting best practices, including talking to colleagues outside your organization. Participate in national associations, member blogs, and other appropriate listservs that provide discussion groups.
- Search for literature and attend educational programs to learn about best practices and adapt the most appropriate to achieve your desired results. Do not confine this search to your own industry—there may be comparable processes in an entirely different industry from which you can learn.
- Consider benchmarking with organizations that are roughly the same size as your own and in a similar region as your organization. Their best practices will be more likely to work in your organization.
- Plan for and implement best practices. Decide which practices can be adapted to your organization. With staff support, move forward and make the necessary proposals and budget requests, develop policies and procedures, conduct required training, and implement new technologies.
- Determine the potential dollar value to your hospital if you were to achieve your benchmark targets (click to enlarge):
- Measure results and perform a payback analysis. Assess the progress your organization has made by comparing baseline data with current performance. Document the costs incurred and the benefits that have resulted. Monitor quality to make sure your team maintains performance improvements. For continuous improvement, periodically raise the bar or change the process.
In the following SlideShare presentation, I’ve provided 2 case studies, along with the top 10 tactics to embrace and to avoid as your hospital starts this journey.