Benchmarking of hospital activity data: an international comparison

Mark Booth (Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand)
Phil James (CHKS Ltd, Alcester, UK)
Vladimir Stevanovic (Ministry of Health, Wellington, New Zealand)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The aim of the study is to examine the feasibility of comparing hospitals internationally and to highlight some of the barriers.


Comparative analysis of anonymised patient‐level data from hospitals in New Zealand and the UK.


Comparisons were made of aggregate statistics. For example, it was found that average length of stay and death rates in New Zealand were lower than in the UK, although average severity was higher. Adverse reactions were higher in the New Zealand sample than in that of the UK.

Research limitations/implications

There were data limitations associated with different coding conventions in the two countries. There may also be different coding conventions used when classifying data. The research attempted to correct for this, but some may remain.


There are few cross‐national comparisons of hospital performance. This paper shows that such analysis is possible. It is hoped that further effort can be put into addressing some of the data issues described above to further refine the results.



Booth, M., James, P. and Stevanovic, V. (2005), "Benchmarking of hospital activity data: an international comparison", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 515-522.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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