Empirical Research in Healthcare Operations: Past Research, Present Understanding, and Future Opportunities
21 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019
Date Written: April 8, 2019
We examine the published empirical literature in healthcare operations management over the last 20 years. We note several unique characteristics of the research in healthcare operations, including a focus on operational and organizational variables, an interest in the underlying mechanisms that explain operational causal pathways, and an interest in economic and managerial implications. We organize the prior findings under five distinct themes: importance of operational variables, importance of volume, routing patients through healthcare systems, to err is human, and managing the improvement process. We also identify several key areas of future research, including personalized medicine, value-based healthcare, and connected health. We conclude with a call to action for greater engagement with the medical community in areas where tools and insights of operations management can bring about improvements in healthcare delivery.
Keywords: healthcare operations management; empirical operations management; literature review; trends
JEL Classification: C8, I1, M11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation