Efficiency analysis of emergency departments in metropolitan areas
The demand in the healthcare industry is increasing exponentially due to aging population of the world and this is leading to a rapid increase in the cost of healthcare. The emergency departments of the hospitals are the frontline of health care systems and play an additional critical role in providing an efficient and high-quality response for patients. The overcrowding at the emergency departments due to growing demand results in a situation where the demand for ED services exceeds the ability to provide care in a reasonable amount of time. This has led countries to reconsider their health policies in a way to increase their efficiency in their healthcare systems in general and in emergency departments, in particular. As in many countries, there has been a steady and significant increase in the number of patients that seek health services at the emergency departments of state hospitals of Turkey, due to the significant structural reforms in health services since 2003. While meeting this increasing demand, it is ever more important to provide these critical health services efficiently. Therefore, the efficiency of the emergency departments of seven general hospitals run by Istanbul's Beyoglu State Hospitals Association have been analyzed using categorical Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) models. The analysis of DEA results is supported by a set of statistical methods to make it easier for the hospital administrators to interpret the analysis and draw conclusions. The analysis shows that less-equipped EDs are supported by better equipped, larger EDs, resulting in a hub-and-spoke type of structure among the EDs where "satellite" EDs serve an important referral function and thus evaluating their efficiency without taking the interoperability among these units into account would not be an accurate assessment of their performance.
SourceSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
KeywordsData Envelopment Analysis