The classic benchmarking process has 10-steps (i.e., Identify what is to be benchmarked to recalibrate benchmarks), but we have discovered that the #1 best healthcare supply benchmarking process technique (or gap analysis) is a “site visit” to determine what your peers are doing differently that is producing superior performance in the category you are investigating.
This is an obvious next step in any benchmarking “gap analysis”, but how many hospitals, systems, or IDNs are actually taking the time and effort to travel to their peer’s location to understand what makes their peer’s performance better than them?
Crucial Step in Healthcare Supply Benchmarking
This is a crucial step in your healthcare supply benchmarking process since what your peers tell you they are doing in their e-mails, phone calls, or surveys is only part of the story. Nothing substitutes for seeing a best practice yourself, since there are nuances to every best practice that can’t be described in texts, phone conversations, or surveys.
For instance, I wasn’t sure that automated supply dispensing cabinets were a cost effective best practice until I saw it myself, asked questions about how the system operated, and then read a confidential cost analysis that showed that my client had saved 3.2 FTEs after fully installing their supply cabinets. You can’t get this type of sensitive information on the phone.
Compare and Contrast Best Practices
That’s why healthcare supply chain consultants are known as “walking benchmarks” because they have the opportunity to visit hundreds of hospitals, systems, and IDNs in their career and then compare and contrast supply chain best practices. We know this to be true, since this is how we obtain our best practice ideas that we share with our clients.
However, you too can replicate a consultant’s knowledge by performing site visits to your best-in-class peers to uncover why they have reached superior performance in the areas you are investigating.
Yes, it will cost you some time, money, and effort to do so. Yet, the reward for your labors will quickly translate into savings and/or process improvements that will be worth your due diligence. Taking this step will greatly improve your healthcare supply benchmarking process!
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