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Outcomes Benchmarking

The term outcomes benchmarking refers to techniques that attempt to answer the question: How do a patient's, clinician's or organization's outcomes compare to an expected outcome (i.e., a benchmark)? Of course, any attempt to benchmark outcomes requires some methodology for establishing the benchmark and applying an appropriate case mix adjustment.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of benchmarks: external benchmarks and internal benchmarks (which are based on the organization's own norms).

External benchmarks are most useful for small organizations that do not have the capacity to generate their own large normative samples. Larger organizations, however, may benefit from internal benchmarks, as the population size provides the opportunity to develop a case mix adjustment model that is valid for the specific population being served. Internal benchmarks are also useful for examining changes in outcomes over time for an organization.

The ACORN outcomes management system will create both internal and external benchmarks that are statistically appropriate to the populations of patients treated by clinicians utilizing the ACORN questionnaires. For more on benchmarks for effectiveness, see ACORN Criteria for Effectiveness (ACE)

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