There is no doubt that the healthcare operating environment is rapidly changing and requiring immediate implementation of modern tools of monitoring performance. The application should be governed by a benchmark that relies on competence and efficiency of resources. The majority of the laws and policies formulated by the United States government at every level, especially the state, local, and federal, accompany particular benchmarks connected to the outcomes of the care delivery which, the hospital must meet (Martin, 2015). As such, a balanced scorecard (BSC) becomes the most viable tool that the state government or national government can use to evaluate, monitor, and improve the performance of healthcare facilities (Rabbani et al. 2014). By definition, dashboard metrics are tools used to manage and track healthcare data, key performance indicators (KPIs), and additional vital metrics to assess an entire healthcare facility or department within it. With the information from the dashboard metrics, the relevant authorities find it easy to analyze the functions of a healthcare department or the application of a medical process by the public health facility or a private healthcare organization. It is essential for organizational success that the care team made of different professionals in the facility can understand reports and dashboards that show the metrics concerning the performance and compliance benchmarks.
Dashboard Metrics with Regard to Benchmarks Set by the Federal Health Care Policies and Knowledge Gaps
The dashboard should inform the user fully on all the activities in the organization and the performance of all the departments at a glance. The construction of a dashboard interface relies on all the events, all the staff concerned and the impact on their clients. Additionally, the patients should understand the services they receive, analyze the progress of their treatment on various conditions and influence multiple activities through suggestions and rating. The patients' comments on various observations are also critical for the improvement of service delivered by the interprofessional team. The government's main priority is the output to the consumers of an organization's services. Consequently, the laws formulated by the government prioritize quality improvement, safety and the overall patient outcomes as the main objectives.
Stakeholders may use the metrics to create visualizations to guide the performance of the facility within the larger industry, or in line with their goals and objectives over time. The most avidly used metrics include volume metrics, revenue leakage metrics, utilization metrics, quality metrics, and financial metrics. Volume metrics regard the number of patients that visit the facility, the duration of their visit and their origin, in addition to the referrals resulting from such visits. Revenue leakage metrics involve avenues of loss of income through canceled appointments, outbound referrals, and unavailability of practitioners due to various reasons. Utilization metrics are completed transactions by both the patient and the service provider. Quality metrics regard the satisfaction of both the employee and the patient, while financial metrics regard the amount of income that each physician, department and the entire facility generates.
According to the U.S. Federal Government, healthcare organizations, large and small, have a common goal - using the available resources to meet the expectations of the industry. Consequently, the organizations must extract and store data across different applications and databases to use as benchmark metrics (Rabbani et al. 2014). The role of the management is to go through the benchmark data, define the most appropriate metrics, and offer a practical suggestion of the data for users within the organization. The critical benchmark metrics data for the healthcare organization are key performance indicators (KPIs), which the facilities must adopt and communicate to the relevant user, as shown in the figure below. All decisions and operations must demonstrate a good understanding of the total effects of these indicators on a single organization and entire industry.
The data in Figure 1 represents a dashboard metrics for operational excellence (Orton, Jacobson, & Haug, 2013). For efficiency, healthcare organizations must use OR turnaround times and measures on time as a demonstration of effective resource utilization. Figure 2 is a value position metrics and measures critical economic indicators. The healthcare facility is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the profit per discharge as a significant success factor (Orton, Jacobson, & Haug, 2013). The indicator is meant to allow organizations to maintain financial sustainability to provide long-term care services to members of the public.
The amount of money that each hospital makes per day, inclusive of inpatient and outpatient services is $1,878 and $1,791 for government and for-profit hospitals respectively (Martin, 2015). Profit per discharge has steadily increased over time. The amount of money a health facility makes is consistent with its operational excellence. Inpatient revenue accounted for 49.8 percent of total income while outpatient services constitute 50.1 percent. While the goal is to reduce the amount of time spent before a patient leaves the hospital, as well as that spent in the ED before they are admitted. By so doing, a high number of beds will remain unoccupied, providing room for other patients to use them. The volumes of patients admitted to hospital is relative to the capacity of the facility. For instance, facilities with over 500 beds had 33,598 admissions in 2015, while those with between 50 to 100 beds had 2,108 admissions (Martin, 2015). Therefore, for every two extra beds, there are about three more admissions. Still, knowledge gaps exist that need to be adequately addressed to ensure progress in regards to the afore-described metrics. For instance, the exact time it takes for each physician to handle their patient is not statistically noted, and the information being provided is general. Further research is necessary to fill these gaps.
Challenges that Meeting the Prescribed Benchmarks Can Pose for a Health Care Organization
The prescribed benchmarks target the highest quality of services and the outstanding competence among the organization's staff. Therefore a radical change is a necessity in the organization. The change starts with the professional operations and such should meet the levels of influencing significant change in the organization. The benchmarks may require additional training among the staff. Another challenge is the resources needed to ensure success to meet the criteria. The identified parameters are changes that require finances for implementation, and the organization may be necessary to source for more resources such as finances, consultants, and the personnel for actualization. Additionally, the prescribed frameworks must align with the policies at all levels, and this demands appropriate adjustments (Martin, 2015). The benchmark also introduces opportunities to the organization and the inter-professional teams since it promises perfection in the activities and financial excellence.
Within the framework of the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), the primary goal of the Federal government is to offer high-quality medical services to its citizens at relatively lower costs (Oliver, 2014). This policy is contrary to the goals of most healthcare facilities that aim at making huge profits by hiking the rates of sensitive care services (Rabbani et al. 2014). However, because of the policies introduced by the federal government such as price regulations and medical insurance covers, the majority of healthcare organizations now feel that the only way to succeed is by getting more out of the business functions. It is true that dashboards and operational metrics vary across healthcare facilities (Orton, Jacobson, & Haug, 2013). Many organizations are compelled to talk of "doing more with less." They cope with the business "challenges" by extracting data and information on the best strategies rather than working through the plan to improve the performance.
A Benchmark Underperformance in a Health Care Organization that Has the Potential for Greatly Improving Overall Quality
An underperformance of a benchmark in a healthcare organization implies that something is wrong in the creation or implementation of the prescription (Ghazisaeidi et al., 2015). Introducing a benchmark in an organization means creating a platform for routine functions. The designed activities must be completed on a daily basis whether they lead to the desired goals or not (Orton, Jacobson, & Haug, 2013). A healthcare organization may have the potential of delivering high-quality services to its customers by engaging in several activities. Nevertheless, restricting the organization to specific functions and outcomes might affect the level of performance and desires to work towards achieving the outlined goals. Similarly, an interprofessional benchmark dictates the manner in which the teams of different professionals should be created, the constituents of the groups and the education together with the skills that they should possess.
Before the introduction of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), healthcare systems in the United States focused on comprehensive system strategic and operational metrics. These systems were used to analyze the operations of service providers and to ensure progress towards the strategic goals. However, after the introduction of more stringent healthcare policies that seem to favor the public more than the facilities, most of the organizations have stopped providing some of the services they used to give to clients. The policies made the market and communities to have many requirements including serviceability, high-quality care, and low cost of services (Oliver, 2014). It has become difficult for most healthcare organizations to fulfill these needs given that they still operate under the same previous conditions. However, there is a general belief that a focus on the two benchmark dashboard metrics will allow healthcare institutions to improve service delivery alongside increasing the level of profit.
The underperformance of a benchmark should not be overemphasized but should be considered as a new process that only demands monitoring and adjustments. The selected benchmark is the best for this organization and once implemented, there should be patient. The benchmark is appropriate because it has the greatest chance of improvement. The rates can be observed in percentages, and their positivity in improving the outcomes should be identified in the reduction of the rates outlined as measures (Ghazisaeidi et al., 2015).
Ethical Action in Addressing a Benchmark Underperformance, Directed toward an Appropriate Group of Stakeholders
A benchmark defines the expectations of the management in regards to the performance of the whole workforce. More often than not, an employee's performance may be lackluster, demanding the intervention of the supervisorial staff. In so doing, the supervisors should ensure that they handle such a situation ethically to prevent negatively affecting someone else's emotions. One way to do it is to have clear goals of the organization; which a regular audit should be conducted to ensure it matches expectations. Each employee is therefore aware of what they should do. Additionally, providing feedback for performance can enable them to know whether or not they are on the right track. While tackling underperformance, one should find the underlying factors are causing the problem. Furthermore, the difference between capability and conduct should be clear; the latter r...
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