Arch Hellen Med, 28(6), November-December 2011, 794-803
Measuring the efficiency of Greek public hospitals
OBJECTIVE To examine the performance of Greek public hospitals and to define ways in which inefficient hospitals can increase their ability to manage their resources efficiently.
METHOD The sample consisted of 25 general public hospitals that have similarities regarding capacity, demand and range of healthcare services. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) was used to investigate the efficiency of the hospitals; specifically, the input-oriented model of DEA was used to estimate the degree to which each unit can reduce the quantity of input and still continue to produce a given amount of output, and the output-oriented model of DEA was used to estimate the degree to which each hospital can increase the quantity of output, using a given amount of input. The variables selected to represent input were the numbers of beds, the staff and the expenditures, and the variables selected as output criteria were admissions, outpatient visits, patient days, laboratory examinations and surgical procedures.
RESULTS The results of the analysis showed that the majority of hospitals (64%) were efficient. The hospitals found to be inefficient, in order to increase their efficiency need either to reduce the number of beds by 4.5%, the number of staff by 4.6%, and expenditures by 4.5%, according to the input oriented model, or alternatively, according to the output oriented model of DEA, to increase the number of patients treated by 5.2%, patient days by 5.5%, laboratory examinations by 6.2%, outpatient visits by 4.1% and the number of surgical procedures by 3.4%.
CONCLUSIONS Efficiency analysis examines the output of a healthcare unit or the healthcare system, in general, according to their input. This evaluation is necessary in order to define effective and efficient health programs and services, namely those that efficiently convert input measures into output, in order to cut costs and increase patient satisfaction.
Key words: Data envelopment analysis, Efficiency, Greece, Hospital.