Efficiency vs Effectiveness : a Benchmarking Study on European Healthcare Systems
This paper illustrates a benchmarking study concerning the healthcare systems in 32 European countries as of 2011 and 2014. Particularly, this study proposes a two-dimensional approach (efficiency/effectiveness models) to evaluate the performance of national healthcare systems. Data Envelopment Analysis has been adopted to compute two performance indices, measuring efficiency and effectiveness of these healthcare systems. The results of the study emphasize that the national healthcare systems achieve different efficiency and effectiveness levels. Their performance indices are uncorrelated and behave differently over time, suggesting that there might be no real trade-off between them. The healthcare systems' efficiencies remain generally stable, while the effectiveness values significantly improved from 2011 to 2014. However, comparing the efficiency and effectiveness scores, the authors identified a group of countries with the lowest performing healthcare systems that includes Ukraine, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Lithuania, and Romania. These countries need to implement healthcare reforms aimed at reducing resource intensity and increasing the quality of medical services. The results also showed the benefits of the proposed approach, which can help policy makers to identify shortcomings in national healthcare systems and justify the need for their reform. (original abstract)
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