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Milliman's Inpatient Benchmarking Tool is designed to help public health systems like the NHS make better use of their limited resources. In England, fee-for-service type arrangements for hospitalisation, along with pressures on other parts of the health delivery system, are often considered to have driven increasing numbers of hospital stays. Also, once patients are occupying a hospital bed, there are various factors that can contribute to a delayed discharge and an extended length of stay.
Our benchmarking tool aims to reflect an absolute standard of care of what is possible to achieve given optimal infrastructure and best practice care. Created specifically for the NHS, our benchmarks incorporate external proprietary information rather than comparisons to other NHS local economies and present results under various degrees of healthcare management. NHS commissioners have generally found that these benchmarks, which differ in their compliance to evidence-based care, and ultimately reflect the spectrum of care management level, show a greater opportunity for reducing utilisation and bed days.
Our inpatient benchmarking tool accounts for demographics, therefore adjusting for the age/sex profile of the local population. Once NHS inpatient admission data is run through our benchmark tool, we can identify the clinical categories where utilisation deviates significantly from the benchmarks and where opportunities for increased management could be achieved. These comparisons can be made for the entire population served by a clinical commissioning group or a specific hospital or care centre, and broken down into age categories for further analysis. Once we quantify potential inefficiencies and resulting cost savings opportunities, local commissioners can better understand where to focus efforts and resources and better engage with health service delivery partners.
Most competing solutions benchmark client data against upper-quartile UK performance data, comparing users with best performers within their own market. By contrast, our global best-practice benchmarks show the top performance achieved in an optimal infrastructure with high adherence to evidence-based clinical guidelines. Our Inpatient Benchmarking Tool delivers the critical data needed to point the way to more effective and cost-efficient healthcare management by providing objective targets appropriate to a specific population.
Joanne Buckle is the lead consultant in the Milliman London Healthcare Practice. She has been at Milliman since 2001, including 18 months in the New York City office.
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