Process Indicators in Healthcare

Provision of quality healthcare is the most important objective of the healthcare industry. All stakeholders in this industry are always in a continuous process of devising new methods and policies that are aimed at ensuring patients are offered high quality healthcare services at all times (Chassin & Galvin, 2011). Since this is a continuous process, medical players need to have indicators that can help them analyze their operations to determine whether they are offering improved healthcare services to their clients. There are three types of indicators used by medical practitioners and they are structural indicators, process indicators, and outcome indicators (Chassin & Galvin, 2011). This paper will do an in-depth discussion on how South Florida Baptist Hospital (SFBH) uses process indicators to improve healthcare services they offer to their and how they measure against to other hospitals, Bartow Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and South Bay Hospital (SBH) in this regard

Process indicators

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In healthcare industry, process indicators are used to determine the type of medical procedures performed on patients and whether these procedures have been performed procedurally (Chassin & Galvin, 2011). These indicators measure the tasks and activities done to a patient during their episodes of care at the hospital. They are also the indicators that determine if doctors follow the laid down procedures when administering their services to their patients. 

Many hospitals including South Florida Baptist Hospital take data that act as process indicators. These data can also be used to do a comparative analysis on different hospitals. The following table will do an efficiency analysis on surgical procedures performed in the three hospitals and then determine how South Florida Baptist Hospital compares to the two of its competitors. 

Surgical ProcedureSFBHBRMCSBH
Outpatients having surgery that got an antibiotic at the right time100%97.4%98%
Surgery patients whose preventive antibiotics were stopped at the right time99.9%99.5%99.2%
Treatment at the right time to help prevent blood clots after certain types of surgery100%99.6%99.5%
Patients kept at the right temperatures 100%96.4%99.4%
Surgery patients who got the right antibiotics99%99.2%100%

Analysis of Data

The above data set has used five indicators that can be used in the comparative analysis on the three hospitals to determine how they conduct their surgical processes. From the first indicator which is the outpatients having surgery that got an antibiotic at the right time. This indicator is meant to show if the healthcare institutions have due diligence when administering antibiotics to their outpatient surgical clients. From the data collected, one can conclude that South Florida Baptist Hospital at 100% performs this procedure more diligently than Bartow Regional Medical Center and South Bay Hospital who scored 97.4% and 98%. The second indicator seeks to determine if antibiotics where stopped at the right time. This indicator shows that the three hospitals performed this function very well and because they all scored a high of 99%. The third process indictor sought to determine the efficiency in giving surgical clients the right treatment to prevent blood clots. While South Florida Baptist Hospital scored a high of 100%, both Bartow Regional Medical Center and South Bay Hospital scored 99.6% and 99.5% respectively. This process indicator shows that the three hospitals performs exceptionally well in offering treatments that seeks to ensure patients do not have blood clots after surgery. After patients have undergone surgery, they should be kept in rooms with the right temperatures to recuperate. For this process indicator, South Florida Baptist Hospital scored a 100% while Bartow Regional Medical Center and South Bay Hospital scored 96.4% and 99.4%. These figures show that only Bartow Regional Medical Center needs to improve in this regard and ensure that their patients are kept in rooms with the right temperatures.  The final process indicator used in this paper is the indicator to determine if surgical patients got the right antibiotics after their surgery. All the three hospitals here performed well as they all scored 99% and above.

From the above analysis, one can state that even though the indicators show a high efficiency in the performance of the three-health institution, there is stillroom for improvement. The three institutions should strive to attain 100% in all the indicators they did not reach the maximum efficiency levels of 100%.   

There are a number of advantages of publicly reporting these indicators. The first advantage is that it provides valuable information to different stakeholders who need to know the healthcare institution they need to enter a partnership with (Schuster & McGlynn 2009). For example, a patient who wants to undergo a major surgical procedure like open-heart surgery would want to check the process indicators of the health institutions they are considering to do the procedures in. Another advantage of publicly reporting these indicators publicly is that national health institutions charged with the responsibility of monitoring the operations of healthcare institutions can easily know the institutions that are performing abysmally (Schuster & McGlynn 2009). The major drawback of publicly reporting these indicators is that it may lead to fears competition between different health institutions. This may lead to unethical reporting of indicators that show erroneous levels of efficiency. This kind of reporting may end up being detrimental to the overall operations of the health institutions involved leading to poor quality of healthcare services being offered (Schuster & McGlynn 2009).   


Chassin MR, Galvin RW. The urgent need to improve health care quality. Institute of

Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality. J Am Med Assoc  2011; 280: 1000–1005. 

Schuster MA, McGlynn. How good is the quality of health care in TheUnited States? Milbank Q 2009; 76: 517–563.

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