Efficiency evaluation of public hospitals in Saudi Arabia: an application of data envelopment analysis.

Alatawi, Ahmed D, Niessen, Louis Wilhelmus and Khan, Jahangir AM
(2020) Efficiency evaluation of public hospitals in Saudi Arabia: an application of data envelopment analysis. BMJ open, 10 (1). e031924-e031924.

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OBJECTIVE:In this study, we assess the performance of public hospitals in Saudi Arabia. We detect the sources of inefficiency and estimate the optimal levels of the resources that provide the current level of health services. We enrich our analysis by employing locations and capacities of the hospitals. DESIGN:We employ data envelopment analysis (DEA) to measure the technical efficiency of 91 public hospitals. We apply the input-oriented Charnes, Cooper and Rhodes, and Banker, Charne, Cooper models under Constant and Variable Returns-to-Scale. The assessment includes four inputs, and six output variables taken from the Ministry of Health databases for 2017. We conducted the assessment via PIM-DEA V.3.2 software. SETTING:Ministry of health-affiliated hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. RESULTS:Findings identified 75.8% (69 of 91) of public hospitals as technically inefficient. The average efficiency score was 0.76, indicating that hospitals could have reduced their inputs by 24% without reduction in health service provision. Small hospitals (efficiency score 0.79) were more efficient than medium-sized and large hospitals. Hospitals in the central region were more efficient (efficiency score 0.83), than those located in other geographical locations. More than half of the hospitals (62.6%) were operating suboptimally in terms of the scale efficiency, implying that to improve efficiency, they need to alter their production capacity. Performance analysis identified overuse of physician's numbers and shortage of health services production, as major causes of inefficiency. CONCLUSION:Most hospitals were technically inefficient and operating at suboptimal scale size and indicate that many hospitals may improve their performance through efficient utilisation of health resources to provide the current level of health services. Changes in the production capacity are required, to facilitate optimal use of medical capacity. The inefficient hospitals could benefit from these findings to benchmarking their system and performance in light of the efficient hospital within their capacity and geographical location.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans, Hospitals, Public, Health Resources, Efficiency, Organizational, Benchmarking, Saudi Arabia
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 10:48
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:56
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031924
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3081862