An Approach Toward Public Hospital Performance Assessment
6 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017
Date Written: August 03, 2016
Background: Public hospitals have come under heavy scrutiny across the world owing to rising expenditures. However, much of the focus has been on cutting down costs to raise efficiency levels. Although not denying the importance of efficiency measures, this article targets a performance issue that is relevant to address the quality of services rendered in public hospitals. Thus, it is important to focus on the effectiveness of resource utilization in these hospitals. Consequently, this article seeks to examine the impact of average length of stay (ALOS) and bed turnover rates (BTR) on bed occupancy rates (BOR).
Methods: Public hospital inpatient utilization records during the period 2006 to 2013 were gathered from the Ministry of Health, Malaysia. A 2-step generalized method of moments (GMM) statistical method was used to analyze the data. BOR was adopted as the dependent variable, whereas BTR and ALOS were used as the explanatory variables. The logarithm of total bed count (BED), admission (ADM), and patient days (PD) was deployed as control variables. Three regression models were developed to explore the correlates of BOR as a hospital performance measure. Ethics committee approval was waived because no patients were identified in the study.
Results: The statistical analyses show that ALOS and BTR are inversely correlated with BOR, with both coefficients significant at 1%. The control variables of BED, ADM, and PD had the right positive signs and they were significant in both sets of equations. Hence, reducing ALOS and BTR can help raise performance of public hospitals in Malaysia.
Conclusion: In light of the robust results obtained, this study offers implications for improving public hospital performance. It shows a need to reduce ALOS and BTR in public hospitals to improve BOR.
Keywords: health care policy, Malaysia, performance, public hospitals, utilization
JEL Classification: I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation