Benchmarking Can Be A Clinical Laboratory’s Best Friend

You know it’s coming: the next in a looooong series of requests to cut the budget in your clinical laboratory. You are plumb out of ideas for cost reductions, or the ones you have left are things you don’t really want to do. What now?

Here’s a crazy idea: how about benchmarking your laboratory PROACTIVELY? Wouldn’t it be a relief to know your opportunities for improvement before you get the ultimatum to reduce your costs? How cool would it be to have a plan for improving performance on the shelf for the day of reckoning? No stress, no problem—you’ve got it covered. You don’t have to tell anyone; it’s your secret weapon!

We see three types of clinical laboratories in our healthcare consulting practice. Best case, you should strive to be in the second category:

  1. The Laggards – Those that have high costs and are clueless about how to fix it.
  2. The Stars – Those that are proactively measuring their own performance and continuously driving improvement.
  3. The Rest – Those that may be required to participate in a hospital-wide benchmarking service or do not benchmark themselves yet but have done their best to drive some costs down.

Have I convinced you yet? If not, here’s one more construct to consider: how you are viewed by the executive suite in terms of your knowledge and desire to improve.

Knowledge vs Reactive Proactive

Here’s how to interpret the graphic:

  • If you don’t have the knowledge and are not proactive, you are a dinosaur – Extinct; soon to be out of a job.
  • If you have the knowledge but are not proactive, you are a tortoise – Maybe not extinct because you have that tough protective covering, but you are viewed as expendable and are fodder for the next RIF.
  • If you don’t have the knowledge but you are proactive, always looking for opportunities, you are a hyena – Opportunistic (hangs around and waits for other animals to kill and then takes what’s left), but not a true leader or innovator.
  • If you have the knowledge and are proactive, always thinking of ways to be better before you’re asked, you are a cheetah – The fastest cat in the jungle.

How do you want to be viewed? With benchmarking data in hand you can decide if you want to be a tortoise or a cheetah!

For more information about Chi’s benchmarking program, Chi IQTM, click here.

Kathleen A. Murphy, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Chi Solutions Inc.


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