Development of a benchmark tool for cancer centers; Results from a pilot exercise

Anke Wind, Joris Van Dijk, Isabelle Nefkens, Wineke Van Lent, Péter Nagy, Ernestas Janulionis, Tuula Helander, Francisco Rocha-Goncalves, Wim Van Harten* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Differences in cancer survival exist between countries in Europe. Benchmarking of good practices can assist cancer centers to improve their services aiming for reduced inequalities. The aim of the BENCH-CAN project was to develop a cancer care benchmark tool, identify performance differences and yield good practice examples, contributing to improving the quality of interdisciplinary care. This paper describes the development of this benchmark tool and its validation in cancer centers throughout Europe. Methods: A benchmark tool was developed and executed according to a 13 step benchmarking process. Indicator selection was based on literature, existing accreditation systems, and expert opinions. A final format was tested in eight cancer centers. Center visits by a team of minimally 3 persons, including a patient representative, were performed to verify information, grasp context and check on additional questions (through semi-structured interviews). Based on the visits, the benchmark methodology identified opportunities for improvement. Results: The final tool existed of 61 qualitative and 141 quantitative indicators, which were structured in an evaluative framework. Data from all eight participating centers showed inter-organization variability on many indicators, such as bed utilization and provision of survivorship care. Subsequently, improvement suggestions for centers were made; 85% of which were agreed upon. Conclusion: A benchmarking tool for cancer centers was successfully developed and tested and is available in an open format. The tool allows comparison of inter-organizational performance. Improvement opportunities were successfully identified for every center involved and the tool was positively evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number764
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2018


  • Benchmarking
  • Cancer centers
  • Quality improvement
  • Quality of care


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