A. Many HTM departments use COSR as a benchmarking tool. You should be benchmarking yourself annually to your previous years and also against other hospitals inside and outside your organization. A successful department can use this information to share with your C-Suite. Benchmarking helps departments justify budgets and will show if you are on track or if there are opportunities. Your CMMS system must be accurate, this is the primary tool for benchmarking, budgeting, meeting regulatory requirements and showing all the savings you provide or show those opportunities to spend money on training to bring costs down.
Telling your story to the C-Suite or those you report to will be more difficult. Dollars are very important in healthcare and showing you are benchmarking against yourself and others is important. Almost every department in a hospital uses some type of benchmarking to prove they are keeping costs down.
A. There are several external benchmark solutions in the industry. Larger organizations can benchmark internally quite effectively. The accuracy of your CMMS system cannot be overstated here. When using external benchmarking sources it is difficult to know the accuracy of “others” in the comparison pool. How are devices inventoried? Are all expenses captured (i.e. imaging oncology, lab including contracts)? How is equipment value determined (price paid vs. list price vs. some other data source)? Are all FTEs accounted for (lab, imaging services)? Are score of services the same? And the list goes on. An apples to apples comparisons is very difficult. Universally, benchmarking is much more effective than comparisons based solely or primarily on FTE counts or productivity metrics.
A. We tried benchmarking here for a while. What a disaster! The questions could be read four or five different ways, and who is to say the way you are reading it is the same way others are. Years and years ago, the VA had a thing called the BERS survey every year. It used very strict definitions so everyone was answering the same way.
A. We have been benchmarking internally for years. However, when I tried a couple of the benchmarking products the information was basically useless for comparisons. There was not enough standardization across the board to make the information meaningful. I took the information that I was able to mine from the software products to our safety committee and they found it just as meaningless. Benchmarking internally to see where we were doing well or needed improvement has by far been the best source of useful information. Until someone offers a product that can provide reliable and standardized information for comparing HTM programs, I plan on just doing the internal benchmarking and will keep an eye on where the vendors are going with their products.
A. How about using COSR as the main metric to benchmark? You can then use the high or low COSR to drill down to figure out why the COSR is higher or lower than others. The best thing about COSR is that it allows you to benchmark against any hospital, any size, and services. See the July 2013 article in TechNation for a complete description and explanation.
A. We frequently have them come down for repair and 85 percent of the time no problem is found.
A. We have 25 units and average about one every six months that needs to be sent in for repair.
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