Efficiency and technological change in health care services in Ontario: An application of Malmquist Productivity Index with bootstrapping

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to present a productivity measure for hospital services in Ontario. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study applied the Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) to assess the efficiency of hospital services in Ontario, Canada, over the period 2003-2006. The MPI was decomposed into efficiency change and technological change. Efficiency change was further decomposed into pure efficiency change and scale efficiency change. A bootstrapping technique was also used to obtain confidence intervals for the output oriented MPI and its decompositions. Findings ‐ By estimating confidence intervals it was found that a large number of hospitals did not achieve significant progress in terms of productivity. By taking geometric means of estimates for all years it was observed that while overall productivity and efficiency of hospitals in Ontario declined during the study period, technological progress increased at a rate of 5.95 percent on average. Practical implications ‐ The present study helps to understand the productivity and technological change and change in technical efficiency in this vital sector of the economy, which is important for policy making identifying improvement opportunities in resource allocation. It was observed that Ontario hospitals did not improve the efficiency with which they employed their inputs (i.e. staff and supplies) over the study period; they did achieve gains through application of technologies. Originality/value ‐ The paper provides a thorough study on productivity growth of health care services in Ontario using a non-parametric framework with bootstrapping. It also provides a robust measurement and analysis of the contributions of technology, size of operation and use of inputs to the performance of hospitals in Ontario.
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