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Benchmarking Comprehensive Cancer Care

News Item, Publication – June 2016

Benchmarking can improve the quality of interdisciplinary patient treatment in the field of cancer care

The number of cancer patients is steadily increasing and despite rapid improvements in therapeutics, some important inequalities in cancer survival still exist between different countries in Europe. Improving the quality of care is part of the solution to reducing suboptimal cancer survival in Europe.

Benchmarking Objectives

Benchmarking cancer care can help improve the quality of interdisciplinary patient treatment. Benchmarking is the measurement of the quality of an organisation’s policies, products, programmes, strategies etc. and their comparison with standard measures, or similar measurements used by its peers. The objectives of benchmarking are

  1. (1) to determine what and where improvements are needed,
  2. (2) to analyse how comparable organisations achieve their own high performance levels, and
  3. (3) to use this information to improve performance.

However, benchmarking is not just the point of comparison in measurement of performance. It includes also the study and transfer of exemplary practice.

Good Practice Database and Manual

A Benchmarking Manual and a Good Practice Database have been developed as part of the BENCH-CAN project. They incorporate the developed benchmarking tools for cancer centres and cancer pathways, present the necessary processes for carrying out an own benchmarking project, and present good practices. The tools and the processes, as a well as the good practices have been developed using scientific evidence and been tested amongst and collected from 9 pilot centres participating in the project.

The resources are primarily aimed at the groups engaged in comprehensive cancer care through interdisciplinary treatment of patients (clinical staff, management, patients/carers and service funders). But it can also be used by those providing cancer services and pathways in general hospitals and anyone whether they have previous experience or knowledge of benchmarking or not.

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