Benchmarking hospitals through a web based platform

Maria Conceição A. Silva Portela*, Ana Santos Camanho, Diogo Queiroz Almeida, Luiz Lopes, Sofia Nogueira Silva, Ricardo Castro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – In a context of international economic crisis the improvement in the efficiency and productivity of public services is seen as a way to maintain high-quality levels at lower costs. Increased productivity can be promoted through benchmarking exercises, where key performance indicators (KPIs), individually or aggregated, are used to compare health units. The purpose of this paper is to describe a benchmarking platform, called Hospital Benchmarking (HOBE), where hospital’s services are used as the unit of analysis. Design/methodology/approach – HOBE platform includes a set of managerial indicators through which hospital services’ are compared. The platform also benchmarks services through aggregate service indicators, and provides an aggregate measure of hospital’s performance based on a composite indicator of the service’s performances. These aggregate indicators were obtained through data envelopment analysis (DEA). Findings – Some results are presented for Portuguese hospitals for the trial years of 2008 and 2009, for which data is publicly available. Details for the service-level analysis are provided for a sample hospital, as well as details on the aggregate performance resulting from services performances. Practical implications – HOBE’s features and outcomes show that the platform can be used to guide management actions and to support the design of health policies by administrative authorities, provided that good quality and timely data are available, and that hospitals are involved in the design of the KPIs. Originality/value – The platform is innovative in the sense that it bases its analysis on hospital’s services, which are in general more comparable among hospitals than indicators of hospital overall performance. In addition, it makes use of DEA to aggregate performance indicators, allowing for user choice in the inputs and outputs to be aggregated, and it proposes a novel model to aggregate service’s efficiencies into a single measure of hospital performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-739
Number of pages18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2016


  • Aggregate performance measures
  • Benchmarking
  • Data envelopment analysis (DEA)
  • Health services
  • Performance measurement (managerial)
  • Portuguese health system
  • Web platforms


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