Hospitals are the most expensive component of the Canadian health care system and are increasingly held accountable for both financial and quality performance. This places a high priority on making the best possible use of resources and on understanding, measuring and improving hospital efficiency. Measuring efficiency involves assessing the relationship between inputs and outputs, and is particularly challenging in hospitals because they provide a range of service outputs (medical, surgical, intensive, emergency and sub-acute care) that must be measured against patient outcomes (mortality readmissions, adverse events and satisfaction).
This study will use emerging techniques to examine efficiency and quality in Ontario hospitals from 1999 to 2006. Investigators will use the resulting data to:
· Examine the importance of different kinds of hospital care on the efficiency of hospitals;
· Examine the trade-off between quality and efficiency;
· Study the importance of teaching hospitals and rural locations; and,
· Compare and benchmark hospital performance.
The results of the research will have important implications for hospital funding and accountability initiatives.