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PhilHealth Benchbook

Benchbook features a concise and updated list of standards for improving the quality of care in all health care organizations in the Philippines. It provides process standards such as waiting time for procedural treatments and business processes.

Program goals

Despite the presence of the Department of Health’s policing power to monitor the performance and conditions of hospitals, it seems there is so much to be done. In this light, PhilHealth, the government health insurance in the Philippines, introduced the Benchbook in 2002 as new way of incentivizing hospitals to adopt quality measures before PhilHealth will grant them accreditation. This new accreditation tool goes beyond the typical accreditation procedure which only captures and assesses the structure standards of hospitals. Benchbook can now assess the other dimensions of hospital processes and outcomes.

Key program components

Specifically, Benchbook look at the following areas:

(1) Patient’s right and organizational ethics;

(2) Patient care standards

(3) Leadership and management

(4) Human resource management

(5) Information management

(6) Safe practice and management

(7) Improving performance.

Currently, no existing evaluation was done to assess the impact of Benchbook. However, anecdotal evidences show improvement of hospital processes, though PhilHealth admits that resistance was observed for lower level hospitals. In a study conducted by Lavado et al, it was revealed that some lower level hospitals experience hardship in complying with the standards set by PhilHealth because of the administrative and financial constraints. On the other hand, Benchbook compliance seems not to be a significant problem among higher level hospitals.