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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of composite indicators

From: Improving benchmarking by using an explicit framework for the development of composite indicators: an example using pediatric quality of care

Advantage Disadvantage
• Facilitate communication with other stakeholders and promote accountability
• Summarize complex issues for decision-makers
• Facilitate benchmarking
• Assess progress over time
• Induce innovation in quality improvement
• Encourage system-based improvement
• Provide misleading messages about quality if poorly constructed or misinterpreted
• Lead to simplistic policy conclusions
• Can be misused, if the construction process is not transparent and lacks sound statistical or conceptual principles
• Selection of metrics and weights can be challenged by other stakeholders