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Healthcare managers' perception of economies of scale
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Health Organisation & Management, ISSN 1477-7266, E-ISSN 1758-7247, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 317-330Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore how healthcare managers perceive economies of scale and the underlying mechanisms for how scale/size affects performance. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected in 20 in-depth interviews with healthcare professionals from 13 healthcare delivery organizations and from a public authority that finances and contracts healthcare services. Data were coded and analysed using content analysis. Findings - The study concludes that the impact of scale on performance is perceived by healthcare professionals to be different for different types of healthcare services: For surgery, significant scale effects related to spreading of fixed cost, the experience curve, and potential for process improvement. For inpatient care, moderate scale effects related to spreading of fixed costs and costs of doctors on on-call duty. For outpatient care, small or no scale effects. Research limitations/implications - The small sample of interviewees from a single geographical region and healthcare system limits the applicability of the findings. Originality/value - The paper provides insights into how healthcare managers experience scale effects and how they consider economies of scale when planning hospital configuration. Also, past studies of economies of scale in hospitals proffer mixed results and the findings in this paper indicate a possible explanation for this inconclusiveness, i.e. differences in service mix between different hospitals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD , 2017. Vol. 31, no 3, p. 317-330
Keywords [en]
Economies of scale, Hospital size, Qualitative content analysis
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212352DOI: 10.1108/JHOM-01-2017-0006ISI: 000406738300004PubMedID: 28686128Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85021755460OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-212352DiVA, id: diva2:1134767
Note

QC 20170821

Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Svarts, Anna

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More styles
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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