The first Italian benchmarking project in the field of orthopedics

Emanuele Porazzi, Luigi Zagra, Umberto Restelli, Emanuela Foglia, Anna Vanzago, Giovanni Baldi, Alberto Andrion, Elena Bottinelli, Giuseppe Banfi, Rossana De Palma, Giuseppe Massazza, Paola Proia, Davide Croce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Orthopedics has its own specificities in terms of costs, primarily related to the purchase of orthopedic devices and usage of operating rooms, as well as in terms of management issues connected with the organization of medical staff, nursing care, and ancillary support. This paper analyzes the application of benchmarking techniques in the health care sector. It discusses opportunities and limits of benchmarking in the public service sector, focusing on orthopedics; a sector characterized by its own specificities in terms of costs, organization, and management. Methods: This paper takes into consideration the first Italian benchmarking project realized in orthopedics that involved three Italian centers of excellence: IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi (Milan), Azienda Ospedaliera CTO-Maria Adelaide (Turin), and IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli (Bologna). It aimed to carry out a comparative analysis in order to identify the best performance and to improve the service and the organizational effectiveness. Results: Relevant differences were assessed between the three hospitals involved and possible areas of innovation were detected. Discussion: The results of the study highlight the significant reproducibility of benchmarking techniques due to the opportunity of standardizing procedures. Moreover, the differences concerning location, ownership, supply, purchasing, and accreditation processes, each one a potential limitation, provide information that is helpful in identifying relative gaps and that suggest paths leading to improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Activity-based costing
  • Benchmarking
  • Best practice
  • Operating rooms
  • Orthopedics
  • Process analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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