Measurement of hospital performance

O'Callaghan, Gerard (2011). Measurement of hospital performance. PHD thesis, Aston University.

Abstract

The rationale for carrying out this research was to address the clear lack of knowledge surrounding the measurement of public hospital performance in Ireland. The objectives of this research were to develop a comprehensive model for measuring hospital performance and using this model to measure the performance of public acute hospitals in Ireland in 2007. Having assessed the advantages and disadvantages of various measurement models the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model was chosen for this research. DEA was initiated by Charnes, Cooper and Rhodes in 1978 and further developed by Fare et al. (1983) and Banker et al. (1984). The method used to choose relevant inputs and outputs to be included in the model followed that adopted by Casu et al. (2005) which included the use of focus groups. The main conclusions of the research are threefold. Firstly, it is clear that each stakeholder group has differing opinions on what constitutes good performance. It is therefore imperative that any performance measurement model would be designed within parameters that are clearly understood by any intended audience. Secondly, there is a lack of publicly available qualitative information in Ireland that inhibits detailed analysis of hospital performance. Thirdly, based on available qualitative and quantitative data the results indicated a high level of efficiency among the public acute hospitals in Ireland in their staffing and non pay costs, averaging 98.5%. As DEA scores are sensitive to the number of input and output variables as well as the size of the sample it should be borne in mind that a high level of efficiency could be as a result of using DEA with too many variables compared to the number of hospitals. No hospital was deemed to be scale efficient in any of the models even though the average scale efficiency for all of the hospitals was relatively high at 90.3%. Arising from this research the main recommendations would be that information on medical outcomes, survival rates and patient satisfaction should be made publicly available in Ireland; that despite a high average efficiency level that many individual hospitals need to focus on improving their technical and scale efficiencies, and that performance measurement models should be developed that would include more qualitative data.

Divisions: Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: data envelopment analysis,hospital efficiency,technical efficiency,scale efficiency,focus groups
Completed Date: 2011-11
Authors: O'Callaghan, Gerard

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