Future benchmark studies planned

Performance measurement is a critical component of any manager’s job, and its importance has increased as same-day surgery programs must become more efficient and cost-effective to survive in a time of shrinking reimbursement. Add accreditation requirements that include benchmarking as a way to monitor performance, and a manager cannot ignore the importance of benchmarking. (See story on accreditation to require benchmarking, Same-Day Surgery, July 1999, p. 83.)

Participation in some benchmarking studies is too costly for many same-day surgery programs, so the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) in Wilmette, IL, established an Institute for Quality Improvement (IQI) to offer quality, cost-effective benchmarking services, says Naomi Kuznets, PhD, managing director of the institute. "We are still in the process of setting fees, but our goal is to keep the costs as low as possible and still provide a quality service," she says.

The institute’s first study on cataract extraction with lens insertion study was completed in late 1999, and there are two other studies that apply to same-day surgery programs for which the institute is seeking participants, says Kuznets. The institute is looking for 50 programs to participate in a knee arthroscopy study, she says.

"The first 50 participants will not be charged a fee, and the participation fee for participants over the original 50 will be $300," she says.

Another study for which participants are needed is for diagnostic colonoscopy, says Kuznets.

Although the institute is affiliated with AAAHC, Kuznets points out that information gathered in its studies is not shared with the accrediting organization. "We maintain the confidentiality of our participants by identifying them by number and not name, and by keeping our data separate from AAAHC information," she explains.

[To obtain more information about current and future benchmarking studies, contact the IQI office at 3201 Old Glenview Road, Suite 300, Wilmette, IL 60091. Telephone: (847) 853-6079. Fax: (847) 853-9028. Or visit the institute’s section of the AAAHC Web site at www.aaahc.org.]