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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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How do we create benchmarks?

Benchmarking involves comparing aspects of an organization's processes and outcomes to the industry standards or best practice recommendations.  The benchmarks chosen should be a standard set of relevant measures that apply across a particular context.  Benchmarking is currently being used more in the inpatient setting for funding and accreditation purposes. 

In developing benchmarks for rural hospitals, the process should include items that every hospital should be doing well.  Choosing appropriate measures allows for comparisons to be made among rural hospitals.  For example, the measures should be relevant to both CAHs with less than 25 beds and rural hospitals with 50-99 beds, though they may differ significantly in terms of context and services.  Initiatives are currently underway to develop more appropriate benchmarks for the rural inpatient setting. 


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