Sep 26, 2023

As Compared to What? 

Considerations When Using Benchmarking

When You’ve Seen One

One of the interesting observations we’ve made in dealing with hundreds of practices is while so much of what goes on at each breast imaging location is the same, there is also a broad array of differences. These result from an evolution in how unique health care is delivered within the community served. When you’ve seen one breast imaging facility, you’ve seen just that—one!

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

In a world teeming with diverse sources of data and information about the breast imaging practice, it can be challenging to know where to find benchmarks for understanding how to improve your practice. The fact a practice may have adopted unique ways of accommodating the community it serves can make it even more difficult.

That’s why Mammologix always supports first taking steps to perform a comprehensive self-assessment of your practice. This assessment is essential to understanding the practice’s current baseline. We also recommend evaluating this information over an elapsed period of at least the past year to provide insight into any fluctuations or cyclical patterns that may occur.

As Compared to What?

When it finally comes time to use information reported by others to benchmark against your breast imaging practice, be sure to always ask, as compared to what?

For instance, comparing a comprehensive breast imaging program with every modality and a full-time breast care navigator to a screening mammography service can offer insights into some practices. However, it may not be comparable from a practical operational perspective.

It’s important to ask yourself, are the types of changes required to reach the level of practice you are using as a benchmark realistic for your facility’s current operations? If not, then using benchmarks from these best-in-class programs will likely be more frustrating than stimulating.

The Bottom Line

By choosing to be aware of key external benchmarks defining excellence in breast health and electing to focus on building a solid strategy for internal benchmarking first, your practice will put itself ahead of its competitors! Facilities that pay attention to the uniqueness of their practice and the inherent internal factors impacting performance and outcomes move forward faster and farther than those that don’t.

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