Evaluating clinical performance in healthcare services with data envelopment analysis
This chapter introduces a theory-based mathematical methodology called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) as a 'tool' for healthcare policy makers and managers to measure and evaluate the relative performance of clinicians, clinical services and healthcare organisations. As a 'tool' to establish accountable care, DEA identifies the top performers and estimates a relative performance score for the rest of the units. More than measuring and evaluating relative performance, the methodology also identifies which top performers offer the most realistic benchmarks for a unit. Benchmarking clinical performance requires making significant comparisons of clinicians and healthcare units against their local counterparts inside and outside the organisations in which they practice. DEA can be used evaluate various categories of efficient performance such as technical, scale, and overall efficiency. DEA approach is appealing when applied to the study of the performance of individual providers, departments, clinics and hospitals for several other reasons.