Standards and benchmarks
For a team or individual concerned with the improvement of care on the basis of outcomes, looking at only one’s own results is not sufficient. A standard or some other material for comparison is needed. In a number of cases, it is possible to derive such a standard from the literature-for example, the number of postoperative infections. In other cases, no standards are available and one’s own results will have to be compared to results from the past or results from others in order to gain some significance. Examples are patient satisfaction or the quality of life. In this chapter, the standardisation and comparison of outcomes will be addressed with so-called benchmarking being given the most attention.