A step-wise approach to developing indicators to compare the performance of maternity units using hospital administrative data

BJOG. 2018 Jun;125(7):857-865. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.15013. Epub 2017 Dec 15.


Hospital administrative data are attractive for comparing performance of maternity units because of their often large sample sizes, lack of selection bias and the relatively low costs of accessing these data compared with conducting primary data collection. However, using administrative data to develop indicators can also present challenges including varying data quality, the limited detail on clinical risk factors and a lack of structural and user experience measures. This review illustrates how to develop performance indicators for maternity units using hospital administrative data, including methods to address the challenges that administrative data pose.

Tweetable abstract: How to develop maternity indicators from administrative data.

Keywords: Administrative data; hospital episode statistics; maternity statistics; performance indicators.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery Rooms / standards
  • Delivery Rooms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / standards
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*