I applaud your recognition of the "100 Top Hospitals" (Dec. 7, p. 38) and congratulate all the listed institutions.
I take exception, however, to your point that hospitals are "all benchmarked out." In fact, benchmarking is one of the most effective tools available to organizations that already have gone through intensive improvement initiatives and are "hitting the wall" you describe.
Many of the institutions listed find that a good benchmarking program facilitates constant improvement, using a combination of data comparisons and networking to enable the identification and sharing of best practices across peer hospitals.
You ascribe the success of the William Beaumont Hospitals, in Royal Oak and Troy, Mich., to "managers who know one another so well that cooperation comes naturally."
Through collaborative benchmarking, managers across organizations can develop similarly powerful, productive relationships. The Beaumont hospitals, in fact, use benchmarking very effectively to gain improvement insights from peers nationwide.
It's time for the right kind of benchmarking. Collaboration among our nation's best hospitals will advance innovation in care delivery and supporting administrative processes, accelerating performance improvement across the continuum of healthcare.
Healthcare Management Council