In respiratory therapy, benchmarking is used to set standards for the process or quality improvement. Hospitals face many processes and quality challenges in this field, which include the misallocation of respiratory treatments. According to Kollef and Watts (2019), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has developed a high-performance management system, which prescribes standards and responsibilities for the front-line workers. Such standards serve as benchmarks for individuals to achieve or surpass. Additionally, benchmark rates are used to help hospitals develop protocols and guidelines for improving respiratory therapy and to assess the challenges. The most important point to note is that benchmark levels are set to allow practitioners to improve their services. The quality indicators discussed by Chrusch and Martin (2016) include the presence of evidence of high-level benchmarks whereby the targets are set at levels higher than the median or average. In this case, it is apparent that the quality and process improvement is facilitated by setting higher standards than the prevailing industry levels.
An example of the application of benchmarks in respiratory care is the use of respiratory consult services. Chatburn et al. (2019) find that the lack of respiratory consult services results in higher misallocation rates as compared to the historical benchmarks. Their study examines the usefulness of consultation services in respiratory care, which supports the argument that benchmarking is used to determine guidelines and protocols used in practice. In this case, the misallocation of treatment is perceived to be a major problem, and the solution proposed is in the form of consultation. Additionally, the misallocation of treatment is both a process and quality challenge whose improvement also leads to better therapeutic results. Therefore, benchmarks set the levels of quality and process types to be used in respiratory therapy.
Chatburn, R., Demchuk, A., & Stoller, J. (2019). Reassessing a respiratory therapy consult service after 20 years. Respiratory Care, 64(8), 875-882.
Chrusch, C., & Martin, C. (2016). Quality improvement in critical care: Selection and development of quality indicators. Canadian Respiratory Journal, 2016(2), 1-11.
Kollef, M., & Watts, P. (2019). Moving the practice of respiratory therapy forward. Respiratory care, 64(8), 104-106.