Aims and objectives: The aim of the Paediatric International Nursing Study was to explore the utility of key performance indicators in developing person-centred practice across a range of services provided to sick children. The objective addressed in this paper was evaluating the use of these indicators to benchmark services internationally.
Background: This study builds on primary research, which produced indicators that were considered novel both in terms of their positive orientation and use in generating data that privileges the patient voice. This study extends this research through wider testing on an international platform within paediatrics.
Design: The overall methodological approach was a realistic evaluation used to evaluate the implementation of the key performance indicators, which combined an integrated development and evaluation methodology.
Methods: The study involved children's wards/hospitals in Australia (six sites across three states) and Europe (seven sites across four countries). Qualitative and quantitative methods were used during the implementation process, however, this paper reports the quantitative data only, which used survey, observations and documentary review.
Results: The findings demonstrate the quality of care being delivered to children and their families across different international sites. The benchmarking does, however, highlight some differences between paediatric and general hospitals, and between the different key performance indicators across all the sites.
Conclusions: The findings support the use of the key performance indicators as a novel method to benchmark services internationally. Whilst the data collected across 20 paediatric sites suggest services are more similar than different, benchmarking illuminates variations that encourage a critical dialogue about what works and why. Relevance to clinical practice: The transferability of the key performance indicators and measurement framework across different settings has significant implications for practice. The findings offer an approach to benchmarking and celebrating the successes within practice, while learning from partners across the globe in further developing person-centred cultures.