The resources and costs of the healthcare sector have risen over the past decades. The increased costs relate largely to publicly funded healthcare. In many western countries, the money spent on publicly funded healthcare has risen faster than the level of available funding. Similarly, the productivity of Finnish hospitals has decreased and productivity differences between hospitals have been reported. This study analyzed the productivity of surgical units. The factors affecting this productivity were divided into case-mix, volume, and operations management perspectives. The analysis methods were: 1) quantitative benchmarking of performance measures; and 2) qualitative benchmarking of the process practices. The objectives were to determine the factors leading to the productivity differences and to build best practice processes in terms of productivity. These best practice processes were implemented at the hospitals to study the potential for improving process quality and productivity. The productivity of the surgical unit was more affected by the productivity of the wards than by the productivity of the operating units. The productivity of the ward was mostly related to length of stay. The volume of the surgery unit was not associated with the productivity, but the high volume of specific subspecialties and specific procedures increased productivity in those areas. The implementation of the best practice processes shows that the quality and productivity of the processes can be improved using benchmarking.
|Translated title of the contribution||Best practice processes - What are the reasons for differences in productivity between surgery units|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|
- service operations management