One of the ongoing projects of the WAEH is the benchmark (BSC-project).
Benchmarking is the process of identifying, sharing, understanding, using and adapting outstanding practices and knowledge. It is a continuous and systematic process in which working methods, achievements and processes are compared with those of prominent organisations. Benchmarking focuses on how to improve any business process by exploiting top-notch approaches rather than merely measuring best performances. It involves looking outward, outside your hospital, to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the process they use.
Benchmarking was originally developed in an industrial environment. Recently, other organisations such as hospitals have discovered the value of benchmarking and are applying it to improve their performance. Benchmarking readily integrates with strategic initiatives such as total quality management (TQM), continuous improvement, change management and re-engineering. As with TQM, benchmarking underlines the responsibility and influence of the individual employee. It stems from a personal and organisational willingness to learn.
The benefits of benchmarking are considerable. Benchmarking breaks paradigms and provides models of excellence. Benchmarking can achieve breakthroughs and innovations. Employees learn to look “outside the box” and make better-informed decisions.
The World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH) has an unique global collection of eye hospitals. One of the objectives of the WAEH is to promote, encourage and develop the quality of eye care through the development and dissemination of information by benchmarking.
The purposes of the WAEH Benchmarking Project are:
Performance indicators as Balanced Score Cards are being used by organisations to help management monitor performance and to aid in decision-making at a strategic and operational level. Their function is to identify the principal characteristics or components of successful performance in an organisation. In addition, they can be used to compare performance against that of other organisations or the same organisation at different times.
The benefits of the approach are that it is based on a balanced set of indicators covering the entirety of a company’s mission and goals, not just financial indicators. This is particularly important for the non-profit sector where financial indicators of performance are less relevant.
In March 2000 an introductory meeting had been organized for the members of the Europen Association of Eye Hospitals in Moorfields Eye Hospital London. The aim of this meeting was to look for similarities and differences among the institutes and to explore the possibilities of exchanging information and personnel as well as establishing closer co-operation between the institutes. The participants of the meeting identified similarities and differences in their working methods and agreed to set up a benchmark system.
In April 2000 the first EAEH benchmarking took place. During the annual board meeting several parameters were compared. The benchmark subject was the treatment pathway of the cataract patient. Data from up to nine hospitals have been collected in this first benchmark research project in ophthalmology, the so-called EAEH Best Practice Survey . Four EAEH members and five members of the colleague American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals (AAEEH) participated in this benchmarking.
July 2000 a start was made with a study to ‘Suitable indicators for benchmarking of eye hospitals in an international context’ in Rotterdam. The study has been carried out in co-operation with the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In July 2001 a set of thirteen suitable indicators has been presented to the board of the EAEH. The members decided to start benchmarking these indicators.
The next steps have been taken in April 2002 by developing up a database for benchmark indicators. They added nine indicators to the thirteen suitable indicators and developed a questionnaire for collecting the data. In November 2002 a nursing symposium was held in Rotterdam. The aim of this symposium was to compare performance with benchmarking and to set up a nursing network.
In 2007 the World Association of Eye Hosptials (WAEH) was established. In line with the benchmark initiative of the EAEH, benchmarking became also one of the purposes of the WAEH. The data from the EAEH members were integrated into the new performance indicator framework of the WAEH. Data from the new WAEH-members were also added to this performance indicator framework.
Interested in the outcomes of the BSC-project? For more information, please contact Maaike van Zuilen, firstname.lastname@example.org.