What is Benchmarking?


AHF Benchmarking ExpressTM
, provided by AHF as a FREE member benefit, offers streamlined reporting and quick access to facility performance indicators.

  • Financial/Productivity Reports and Trend Graphs feature Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and statistics that drive success.
  • Selected KPI and statistics are generated immediately while entering data to the online portal.

Current Members:

Our Benchmarking Express Program is available to all operator members and their facilities. You can log in below and either begin Benchmarking as a new user or continue benchmarking in your existing profile. For more detailed member-only information about AHF's Benchmarking program, click here.

Your username and password are the same as your AHF membership profile. 

Click here to Login & Benchmark

What is benchmarking?

Benchmarking is a process through which performance is measured by comparing one operation against another based on the same criteria. Dictionary.com defines benchmarking as any standard or reference by which others can be measured or judged. Financial comparisons are critical for the foodservice director’s and self-operated department success.

  • The cost to produce patient/non-patient meal/meal equivalents
  • The hard and soft revenue offsets that influence the Foodservice Department's net cost
  • The productivity for the Department based on either meals per productive labor hour or productive hours per meal.

Why is benchmarking important for healthcare foodservice?

In today's fast changing and competitive environment, it is essential that healthcare executives have the ability to answer the question "How are we doing compared to others?" They can then focus their continuous improvement processes on areas that will make the most difference. By reporting consistently in AHF Benchmarking EXPRESS™, the foodservice director has Key Performance Indicators (KPI) at his/her disposal to use when talking with administrators or others about the food service. The system includes graphs and comparison data that are critical to telling your story.

Why is benchmarking important to you?

Benchmarking provides a month-to-month and year-to-year representation of how you are doing and how you compare to others in self-operated healthcare foodservices. Benefits are to identify:

  • Where are your weaknesses
  • Which areas you can improve
  • New or different ways to do things Strategies for improvement
  • Where are your strengths and how to maintain them
  • Where you can increase efficiency
  • Forecasting for the future
  • When you are new to the facility and trying to understand the operation
  • Orienting new leadership to your department and services
  • Justifying staffing levels
  • Identifying the impact of operational changes
  • Administrator oversight and cost control discussions
  • Budget planning and preparation
  • Proposing changes in service
  • When you are new to the facility and trying to understand the Operation

What Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are included in AHF Benchmarking ExpressTM?

There are over 50 indicators within the benchmarking program.

Traditional Benchmarking Trend Graphs feature:

  • Average Retail Transaction
  • Total Dietitian Hours Worked per Patient/Resident Day
  • Floor Stock per Patient/Resident Day
  • Total Food Cost per Patient/Resident Day
  • Labor Hours per Meal
  • Net Cost per Patient/Resident Day
  • Net of Cash per Patient/Resident Day
  • Total Patient/Resident Days
  • Supply/Other Cost per Patient/Resident Day
  • Total Meals
  • Total Patient/Resident Meals 

How does Benchmarking help you?

  • It provides a snapshot overview of Key Performance Indicators to identify how the foodservice is performing month-to-month and in comparison to similar facilities.
  • Display KPI for selected, comparable facilities
  • This program is included in your annual AHF dues.
  • Data for Acute and LTC-Senior Living self-operated food services are collected.

What will I receive as a participant of AHF Benchmarking ExpressTM?

  • Access to an online, 24/7 data entry portal with selected KPI calculated real-time as you enter data
  • Access to all worksheets for your facility
  • Monthly financial and statistical and trend reports
  • Ability to sort data in reports
  • Locate similar facilities
  • Compare your facility to similar facilities
  • Previous 12 months of trend graphs for selected KPI
  • Previous years of trend graphs for selected KPI through the Enhanced Benchmarking dashboards
  • Documentation, forms and instructional tools
  • Instructional session at AHF Annual Conference.

Is my data secure?

Each facility’s information is completely confidential. Once data is submitted, it is run through a series of screens to verify its integrity. We adhere to the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) Benchmarking Code of Ethics and the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Ethics Guidelines and Code of Conduct for professional members.

What help and documentation is available?

Training materials are available under the Forms section on the website:

  • Worksheets to gather your data before submitting on the website
  • Quick Tips, Webinars and How To’s
  • Formulas
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Data Entry and Reports Timeline