Resource use and postoperative outcome: basic elements in benchmarkingNiskanen, MinnaCurrent Opinion in Critical Care: August 2009 - Volume 15 - Issue 4 - p 359–363 doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e32832c95cb Postoperative problems: Edited by Jukka Takala Abstract Author Information Purpose of review There is an increasing need to improve the economic efficiency in perioperative processes without compromising patient outcome. In perioperative care, optimization of resource use and costs are far from optimal and in this respect, there may be great differences between institutions. Recent findings Fast-track or enhanced recovery programs that use a multimodal approach have shown benefits in several surgical specialties, although the reports so far mainly come from single centers. Benchmarking with others is beneficial but requires case-mix adjustment. Methods to standardize patient populations, and to measure outcome and resource use, have been introduced in some surgical specialties, such as colorectal and cardiac surgery. There is a lot of evidence that centralization of surgical interventions results in improvements in risk-adjusted outcome and resource use. Summary There is a lot to do to achieve feasible quality indicators and methods for intrainstitutional and interinstitutional benchmarking. Using appropriate tools that are based on multicenter databases, resource use, outcome and effects of new treatment modalities could be more objectively estimated. Department of Perioperative Services and Intensive Care, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland Correspondence to Minna Niskanen, Chief, Department of Perioperative Services and Intensive Care, Kuopio University Hospital, PO Box 1777, 70211 Kuopio, Finland Tel: +358 44 7113366; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.