Measuring Across Hospital Efficiency and Productivity: The Case of Second Regional Health Authority of Attica
The purpose of the study is to investigate technical efficiency and productivity change of a sample of Greek Hospitals over the period 1998 - 2005. Efficiency and productivity measurement became a crucial issue in Greece after the launching of health reforms in 2001, with the legislative Act No. 2889, aiming at cost containment and improvements in hospital efficiency. Applying the linear programming method of Data Envelopment Analysis we investigate how efficiently the hospital resources are used to obtain the maximum possible outcome, before and after the reforms. Hospital output is modelled in terms of interventions, laboratory examinations, outpatient and inpatient cases. Inputs considered include beds, doctors, nurses and rest personnel and operational expenses. The analysis indicates that the reforms have generated efficiency gains when only input and output quantities are considered. During the period 1998- 2002 an overall efficiency regress is observed followed by an upturn, after the launching of managerial reforms. However, when the running costs of the hospitals are considered, then the sample experiences significant regress, implying relatively higher production costs over time. We conclude that DEA is a useful technique to assess relative efficiency and optimum hospital performance across hospitals.