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Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Wilfried von Eiff

Hospitals worldwide are facing the same opportunities and threats: the demographics of an aging population; steady increases in chronic diseases and severe illnesses; and…

Abstract

Purpose

Hospitals worldwide are facing the same opportunities and threats: the demographics of an aging population; steady increases in chronic diseases and severe illnesses; and a steadily increasing demand for medical services with more intensive treatment for multi-morbid patients. Additionally, patients are becoming more demanding. They expect high quality medicine within a dignity-driven and painless healing environment.

The severe financial pressures that these developments entail oblige care providers to more and more cost-containment and to apply process reengineering, as well as continuous performance improvement measures, so as to achieve future financial sustainability. At the same time, regulators are calling for improved patient outcomes. Benchmarking and best practice management are successfully proven performance improvement tools for enabling hospitals to achieve a higher level of clinical output quality, enhanced patient satisfaction, and care delivery capability, while simultaneously containing and reducing costs.

Approach

This chapter aims to clarify what benchmarking is and what it is not. Furthermore, it is stated that benchmarking is a powerful managerial tool for improving decision-making processes that can contribute to the above-mentioned improvement measures in health care delivery. The benchmarking approach described in this chapter is oriented toward the philosophy of an input–output model and is explained based on practical international examples from different industries in various countries.

Findings

Benchmarking is not a project with a defined start and end point, but a continuous initiative of comparing key performance indicators, process structures, and best practices from best-in-class companies inside and outside industry.

Benchmarking is an ongoing process of measuring and searching for best-in-class performance:

  • Measure yourself with yourself over time against key performance indicators

  • Measure yourself against others

  • Identify best practices

  • Equal or exceed this best practice in your institution

  • Focus on simple and effective ways to implement solutions

Measure yourself with yourself over time against key performance indicators

Measure yourself against others

Identify best practices

Equal or exceed this best practice in your institution

Focus on simple and effective ways to implement solutions

Comparing only figures, such as average length of stay, costs of procedures, infection rates, or out-of-stock rates, can lead easily to wrong conclusions and decision making with often-disastrous consequences. Just looking at figures and ratios is not the basis for detecting potential excellence. It is necessary to look beyond the numbers to understand how processes work and contribute to best-in-class results. Best practices from even quite different industries can enable hospitals to leapfrog results in patient orientation, clinical excellence, and cost-effectiveness.

Originality/value

Despite common benchmarking approaches, it is pointed out that a comparison without “looking behind the figures” (what it means to be familiar with the process structure, process dynamic and drivers, process institutions/rules and process-related incentive components) will be extremely limited referring to reliability and quality of findings.

In order to demonstrate transferability of benchmarking results between different industries practical examples from health care, automotive, and hotel service have been selected.

Additionally, it is depicted that international comparisons between hospitals providing medical services in different health care systems do have a great potential for achieving leapfrog results in medical quality, organization of service provision, effective work structures, purchasing and logistics processes, or management, etc.

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Abstract

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Sandra C. Buttigieg, Wilfried von Eiff, Patrick Farrugia and Maximilian C. von Eiff

Point-of-care testing (POCT) at the Emergency Department (ED) attains better objectives in patient care while aiming to achieve early diagnosis for faster medical…

Abstract

Purpose

Point-of-care testing (POCT) at the Emergency Department (ED) attains better objectives in patient care while aiming to achieve early diagnosis for faster medical decision-making. This study assesses and compares the benefits of POCT in the ED in Germany and Malta, while considering differences in their health systems.

Methodology/approach

This chapter utilizes multiple case study approach using Six Sigma. The German case study assesses the use of POCT in acute coronary syndrome patients, compared to the central lab setting. The Maltese case study is a pilot study of the use of medical ultrasonography as a POCT to detect abdominal free fluid in post-blunt trauma.

Findings

This study provides clear examples of the effectiveness of POCT in life-threatening conditions, as compared to the use of traditional central lab or the medical imaging department. Therapeutic quality in the ED and patient outcomes directly depend upon turnaround time, particularly for life-threatening conditions. Faster turnaround time not only saves lives but reduces morbidity, which in the long-term is a critical cost driver for hospitals.

Originality/value

The application of Six Sigma and the international comparison of POCT as best practice for life-threatening conditions in the ED.

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 February 2015

Abstract

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-279-1

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Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Abstract

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Abstract

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2015

Abstract

Details

International Best Practices in Health Care Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-278-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2021

Abstract

Details

The Contributions of Health Care Management to Grand Health Care Challenges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-801-3

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Abstract

Details

Structural Approaches to Address Issues in Patient Safety
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-085-6

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 26 October 2020

Abstract

Details

Transforming Health Care
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-956-7

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