Today, new market realities are forcing healthcare organizations to evolve with the trends. But one thing that hasn’t changed is what’s behind effective decisions during a performance improvement initiative. And that’s having the right data and analytics to keep up.
At any given time, health system leaders, administrators, clinicians and staff need to understand how their finances, operations and quality outcomes compare on a national scale, across internal departments and with peers outside of their organization.
It’s the only way to know where to focus, what goals need to be defined and shared, when progress is being made and how strategic changes are impacting long-term goals.
Several consultancies rely on external data benchmarks to support their work with clients. But many providers also choose to work with an organization that originates the benchmarks – which can give them an edge.
With an alliance of approximately 4,100 of the hospitals in the U.S., and a clinical database representing 45 percent of the nation’s hospital discharges, hundreds of health systems use Premier’s timely, robust and standardized data as the gold standard in benchmarking and analytics. Premier members have been able to leverage Premier’s business intelligence to benchmark variation out of daily practice, earn reimbursement, achieve cost savings and position themselves as a choice provider in their markets.
More providers today are prioritizing access to quality benchmarking analytics.
In a recent survey Premier conducted of provider CFOs, one out of three said they’re investing in technology or expertise that enables long-term performance improvement (PI). Providers noted they’re making these changes to enable more cost-effective care delivery in light of COVID-19 – indicating they’re thinking beyond short-term remedies to today’s revenue challenges.
With long-term PI should come access to robust healthcare data analytics and benchmarking. Our experience shows that the most successful PI efforts are underpinned by national data, benchmarking and technology.
Of course, staffing also continues to be top of mind for providers during the pandemic (demand is highest for nurses). Providers should strive to accurately and intelligently benchmark productivity for safe workforce management.
Without a clear understanding of the story behind the benchmarks, providers may achieve only incremental improvement or fail to sustain progress. Now more than ever, healthcare organizations must be smart about the tools and data they use to measure performance.
Using data benchmarks to support strategic healthcare decisions will never go out of style.
Effective business intelligence analytics must have benchmarking capabilities that reveal performance gaps on an internal facility and department level, and across a local, like-peer and national scale.
This is critical to draw a line in the sand and aim to zero in on variation at every level, including for:
- Overall costs and quality outcomes
- Purchasing and sourcing patterns
- Workflow and operations
- Individual clinician and administrative performance
- Unnecessary or duplicative services
- Real-time, retrospective and interventional research purposes
With this information to power their decision-making, leaders can scientifically target margin improvement, care redesign and operational transformation efforts; ensure alignment and participation in change initiatives; define competitive advantages in their local markets; and reduce expenses.
Benchmarking is necessary. Relying on a firm that has to purchase outside benchmarking data is not.
Many firms purchase external data benchmarks as a basis for their work with providers. However, consultants at Premier – which has made clinical, quality and cost data analytics a foundational part of our business – do not. Because our experts own and know the data, we can supercharge providers’ results.
A little benchmarking mastery goes a long way. Learn more about Premier's consulting approach and experts, and check out our healthcare data and analytics solutions today.