Welcome to IBenC

IBenC is a cross-European research project and stands for Identifying best practices for care-dependent elderly by Benchmarking Costs and outcomes of home health care.


How can we increase the sustainability of health care systems in the context of an increasing demand for health care by growing numbers of older people and a shrinking working force? We may learn from best practices that are able to produce good outcomes with limited resource use. 


To identify and characterise best practices in care delivery for older home health care recipients within and across countries and design a benchlearning tool of home health care providers.


We collected longitudinal data on health, functioning and resource use on 2884 older community dwelling home health care recipients served by 38 home care organisations from six countries (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, and the Netherlands) using interRAI Home Care assessment instrument. We also collected characteristics of the participating organisations and the job experiences of their care staff (N=1067) which was used to develop and characterise models of care delivery.

Main outcomes were two summary measures on quality of care produced by the participating organisations:(1) The Independence Quality Scale (IQS), reflects organisations’ or care models’ performance on maintaining functional independence and engagement of their care recipients; (2) the Clinical Balance Quality Scale (CBQS) reflects an organisation’s performance to improve functioning of their care recipients relative to other organisations.

Costs of resource utilisation over a period of six months was estimated per recipient and aggregated per organisation, care model, and country.

Results Quality and cost of care differed substantially between organisations, care models and countries. We distinguished six care models by using three characterising factors: (1) level of patient-centred care delivery, (2) availability of specialised care professionals and (3) monitoring of care performance. These factors were also related to organisations’ efficiency (quality for costs). 

IBenC produced a roadmap to develop an online tool to benchmark cost-effectiveness of home health care organisations which facilitates a learning environment on their performance.

Conclusion This novel benchmarking method provides an evidence based way to identify and characterise best practices for older home health care recipients.


The novel method for benchmarking outcomes and costs provides insight into the performance of home health care delivery. Since increasing numbers of home health care providers across the world utilise interRAI tools in their routine care, applications developped in IBenC can support benchlearning.



Programme: FP7-HEALTH-2012-INNOVATION-1  Project type: Collaborative Research Project

Start -End Date: January 1, 2013 - January 1, 2017

Coordinator: VU University Medical Center

EU Contribution: € 2,999,198.00  Grant agreement no: 305912

Project Coordinator: Amsterdam University Medical Center – location Vrije Universiteit

Email: hpj.vanhout@amsterdamumc.nl