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Benchmarking in pathology: development of a benchmarking complexity unit and associated key performance indicators


Neil, A and Pfeffer, S and Burnett, L, Benchmarking in pathology: development of a benchmarking complexity unit and associated key performance indicators, Pathology, 45, (1) pp. 66-70. ISSN 0031-3025 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Royal College of pathologists of Australasia

DOI: doi:10.1097/PAT.0b013e32835b77c4


AIMS: This paper details the development of a new type of pathology laboratory productivity unit, the benchmarking complexity unit (BCU). The BCU provides a comparative index of laboratory efficiency, regardless of test mix. It also enables estimation of a measure of how much complex pathology a laboratory performs, and the identification of peer organisations for the purposes of comparison and benchmarking. METHODS: The BCU is based on the theory that wage rates reflect productivity at the margin. A weighting factor for the ratio of medical to technical staff time was dynamically calculated based on actual participant site data. Given this weighting, a complexity value for each test, at each site, was calculated. The median complexity value (number of BCUs) for that test across all participating sites was taken as its complexity value for the Benchmarking in Pathology Program. RESULTS: The BCU allowed implementation of an unbiased comparison unit and test listing that was found to be a robust indicator of the relative complexity for each test. Employing the BCU data, a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were developed, including three that address comparative organisational complexity, analytical depth and performance efficiency, respectively. Peer groups were also established using the BCU combined with simple organisational and environmental metrics. CONCLUSIONS: The BCU has enabled productivity statistics to be compared between organisations. The BCU corrects for differences in test mix and workload complexity of different organisations and also allows for objective stratification into peer groups.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:BCU; benchmarking complexity; key performance indicators; KPI; pathology peer groups
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health care administration
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Neil, A (Associate Professor Amanda Neil)
ID Code:87069
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-11-06
Last Modified:2017-12-05

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