a1 Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute–Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
a2 Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands
a3 Radiotherapy department, Netherlands Cancer Institute–Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
a4 Department of Health Technology Services Research, School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Introduction: Benchmarking can be used to improve hospital performance. It is however not easy to develop a concise and meaningful set of indicators on aspects related to operations management. We developed an indicator set for managers and evaluated its use in an international benchmark of radiotherapy centres. The indicator set assessed the efficiency, patient-centeredness and timeliness of the services delivered.
Methods: We identified possible indicators from literature and professionals. Stakeholders’ feedback helped to produce a shortlist of indicators. For this indicator set, data were obtained in a pilot that included four European radiotherapy centres. With these data, the indicators were evaluated on definition clarity, data availability, reliability and discriminative value.
Results: Literature produced a gross list of 81 indicators. Based on stakeholder feedback, 33 indicators were selected and evaluated in the benchmark. Six negatively evaluated indicators were adapted, together with eight positively evaluated indicators 14 indicators seemed feasible. Examples of indicators concerned utilisation, waiting times, patient satisfaction and risk analysis.
Conclusions: This study provides a pragmatic indicator development process for international benchmarks on operations management. The presented indicators showed to be feasible for use in international benchmarking of radiotherapy centres. The pilot identified attainable performance levels and provided leads for improvements.
(Received July 01 2011)
(Revised November 09 2011)
(Accepted November 10 2011)
(Online publication February 13 2012)
c1 Correspondence to: W.A.M. van Lent, MSc,Division of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, PO Box 90203, 1006 BE Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: ++31 (0)20 512 2855 Fax: ++31 (0)20 669 1449. E-mail: email@example.com