Our recommendation: Select comparison benchmarks that most closely align with institutional priorities and are defensible to frontline clinicians
To build momentum for CVR, it’s important that leaders and frontline physicians agree on where to focus your efforts and align the benchmark used to calculate CVR opportunity with your institutional goal. Although it can be challenging to agree on the “best” benchmark, here are the three we recommend choosing from based on your intuition’s top priority:
Internal Benchmarks: compare individual physicians to your organization’s own average performance to identify quick win opportunities to reduce internal variation alone.
Best for: organizations that face significant data skepticism or don’t want to compare their performance to other hospitals. Showcasing where your organization has unwarranted variation internally can help your physicians identify barriers to adopting care standards. If an organization has a high degree of internal variation, this may indicate a renewed need to engage physicians in the development and adherence to care standards.
National or Peer Benchmarks: compare performance to national or peer-institution benchmarks to identify the most significant opportunities while including the needed data flexibility and customization that executives and physician leaders can both get behind.
Best for: early CVR opportunity exploration, especially when quantifying difference from benchmark for service lines or conditions that have nationally established clinical care standards. Every organization faces unique challenges based on their geography, patient populations, institution type, or strategy which you may want to account for when measuring variation to address concerns about data comparability.
Top Quality Benchmarks: compare performance to top quality organizations to ensure care quality isn’t sacrificed when implementing CVR initiatives.
Best for: organizations and leaders that may be concerned CVR efforts might impact quality and to ensure efforts align specifically with organization wide quality goals. When determining which top quality organizations to benchmark performance against, it’s important to use patient outcome metrics that are not closely correlated to the variation being measured. As an example, when calculating variation in cost you wouldn’t want to determine top quality performers by average length of stay because the two outcomes are highly correlated for most organizations. For this reason, we recommend risk-adjusted readmission and mortality rates to identify top quality service line performers when calculating variation in cost and length of stay.
Watch this 15-minute video to learn how to engage your colleagues in conversation around CVR data.