Benchmarking can facilitate the sharing of information on outcomes of care

Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2001;36 Suppl:385-90. doi: 10.3109/13682820109177916.


Recent restructuring in the national health service (NHS) aimed to effect cultural and organisation changes that would ensure fair and equal access for service users to effective and efficient services. Clinical governance has been introduced as a means of delivering quality improvement. One element of this is the use of benchmarking to assess current process and outcome and to use comparative information to inform about current and best practice. The use of the Therapy Outcome Measure (TOM) (Enderby and John 1997) was investigated as an indicator to benchmark the outcomes of treatment for different client-groups and compare patterns of outcomes from different speech and language therapy (SLT) services. The study recruited eight SLT trust sites and ran for eighteen months. The TOM data was analysed to note similarities and differences in cases entering treatment, in the direction of change resulting from treatment, and on completing treatment. Variation was found on these points between cases with different disorders and across the trusts. TOM data could be used to provide a benchmark for a disorder against which services could make comparisons. However, for benchmarking to succeed there is a need for support and commitment from every level of an organisation.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Speech-Language Pathology / standards*
  • Treatment Outcome