Sharing arrangements in the nonprofit hospital industry.
The major task of this paper is to develop hypotheses about voluntary sharing arrangements (SAs) from a plausible economic analysis of the hospital industry. The second task of the paper is to review some emerging evidence about SAs. Our research suggests that some SAs could or actually do reduce hospital costs to the community. However, there are reasons which indicate that cost reduction is neither a necessary nor a sufficient result for the success of many SAs. (+info)
Setting priorities in health care organizations: criteria, processes, and parameters of success.
BACKGROUND: Hospitals and regional health authorities must set priorities in the face of resource constraints. Decision-makers seek practical ways to set priorities fairly in strategic planning, but find limited guidance from the literature. Very little has been reported from the perspective of Board members and senior managers about what criteria, processes and parameters of success they would use to set priorities fairly. DISCUSSION: We facilitated workshops for board members and senior leadership at three health care organizations to assist them in developing a strategy for fair priority setting. Workshop participants identified 8 priority setting criteria, 10 key priority setting process elements, and 6 parameters of success that they would use to set priorities in their organizations. Decision-makers in other organizations can draw lessons from these findings to enhance the fairness of their priority setting decision-making. SUMMARY: Lessons learned in three workshops fill an important gap in the literature about what criteria, processes, and parameters of success Board members and senior managers would use to set priorities fairly. (+info)
Achieving progress through clinical governance? A national study of health care managers' perceptions in the NHS in England.
BACKGROUND: A national cross sectional study was undertaken to explore the perceptions concerning the importance of, and progress in, aspects of clinical governance among board level and directorate managers in English acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities (MH/LD) trusts. PARTICIPANTS: A stratified sample of acute, ambulance, and mental health/learning disabilities trusts in England (n = 100), from each of which up to 10 board level and 10 directorate level managers were randomly sampled. METHODS: Fieldwork was undertaken between April and July 2002 using the Organisational Progress in Clinical Governance (OPCG) schedule to explore managers' perceptions of the importance of, and organisational achievement in, 54 clinical governance competency items in five aggregated domains: improving quality; managing risks; improving staff performance; corporate accountability; and leadership and collaboration. The difference between ratings of importance and achievement was termed a shortfall. RESULTS: Of 1916 individuals surveyed, 1177 (61.4%) responded. The competency items considered most important and recording highest perceived achievement related to corporate accountability structures and clinical risks. The highest shortfalls between perceived importance and perceived achievement were reported in joint working across local health communities, feedback of performance data, and user involvement. When aggregated into domains, greatest achievement was perceived in the assurance related areas of corporate accountability and risk management, with considerably less perceived achievement and consequently higher shortfalls in quality improvement and leadership and collaboration. Directorate level managers' perceptions of achievement were found to be significantly lower than those of their board level colleagues on all domains other than improving performance. No differences were found in perceptions of achievement between different types of trusts, or between trusts at different stages in the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) review cycle. CONCLUSIONS: While structures and systems for clinical governance seem well established, there is more perceived progress in areas concerned with quality assurance than quality improvement. This study raises some uncomfortable questions about the impact of CHI review visits. (+info)
Impact of discussion on preferences elicited in a group setting.
BACKGROUND: The completeness of preferences is assumed as one of the axioms of expected utility theory but has been subject to little empirical study. METHODS: Fifteen non-health professionals was recruited and familiarised with the standard gamble technique. The group then met five times over six months and preferences were elicited independently on 41 scenarios. After individual valuation, the group discussed the scenarios, following which preferences could be changed. Changes made were described and summary measures (mean and median) before and after discussion compared using paired t test and Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. Semi-structured telephone interviews were carried out to explore attitudes to discussing preferences. These were transcribed, read by two investigators and emergent themes described. RESULTS: Sixteen changes (3.6%) were made to preferences by seven (47%) of the fifteen members. The difference between individual preference values before and after discussion ranged from -0.025 to 0.45. The average effect on the group mean was 0.0053. No differences before and after discussion were statistically significant. The group valued discussion highly and suggested it brought four main benefits: reassurance; improved procedural performance; increased group cohesion; satisfying curiosity. CONCLUSION: The hypothesis that preferences are incomplete cannot be rejected for a proportion of respondents. However, brief discussion did not result in substantial number of changes to preferences and these did not have significant impact on summary values for the group, suggesting that incompleteness, if present, may not have an important effect on cost-utility analyses. (+info)
Hospital board infrastructure and functions: the role of governance in financial performance.
Devolving authority for health care in Canada's provinces: 3. Motivations, attitudes and approaches of board members.
OBJECTIVE: To obtain information from the members of the boards of devolved health care authorities on their motivations, attitudes and approaches, to evaluate their relative orientations to the expectations of provincial governments, local providers and community members, and to evaluate the influence of members' being employees in health care or social services and being willing to stand for election. DESIGN: Mail survey conducted in cooperation with the devolved authorities during the summer of 1995. SETTING: Three provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island) with established boards and 2 provinces (British Columbia and Nova Scotia) with immature boards. PARTICIPANTS: All 791 members of the boards of devolved authorities in the 5 provinces, of whom 514 (65%) responded. OUTCOME MEASURES: Respondents' declared motivations, levels of confidence in board performance and attitudes toward accountability; differences between members who were willing to run for election to boards and others and differences between members who were employees in health care or social services and others. RESULTS: The main motivations of board members were an interest in health care and a desire to be part of decision-making and their main concern was inadequacy of data for decision-making. Almost all (93%) felt that they made good decisions, and 69% thought that they made better decisions than those previously made by the provincial government. Most (72%) felt that they were accountable to all of the local citizens, although nearly 30% stated that they represented the interests of a specific geographic area or group. Attitudes toward their provincial governments were polarized, with half agreeing and half disagreeing that provincial rules restrict the board members. The board members who were employed in health care and social services and those who were willing to stand for election did not differ substantially from their counterparts, although potential electoral candidates were less likely than others to feel accountable to provincial-level constituencies (such as taxpayers and the minister of health) and more likely to represent the interests of a specific geographic area or group. Only a modest number of differences were found among members from different provinces. CONCLUSIONS: Board members' strong feelings of accountability to and representation of local citizens could counteract the structural influences leading board members to favour the interests of provincial governments and providers. (+info)
Impact of the NHS reforms on English hospital productivity: an analysis of the first three years.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of purchaser mix, market competition, and trust status on hospital productivity within the NHS internal market. METHODS: Hospital cost and activity data were taken from routinely collected data for acute NHS hospitals in England for 1991-2 to 1993-4. Cross sectional and longitudinal regression methods were used to estimate the effect of trust status, competition, and purchaser mix on average hospital costs per inpatient, after adjusting for outpatient activity levels, casemix, teaching activity, regional salary variation, hospital size, scale of activity, and scope of cases treated. RESULTS: Real productivity gains were apparent across the study period for NHS hospitals on average. Casemix adjustment drastically improved cross sectional comparisons between hospitals. Gaining trust status and increasing host district purchaser share were associated with productivity increases after adjustment for casemix, regional salary differences, and hospital size and scope. Hospitals that became trusts during the study period were on average less productive at the beginning of the period than those that did not, and there were no significant productivity differences between trust waves at the end of the period in 1993-4. Market concentration was not associated with productivity differences. CONCLUSION: Further analysis is needed to determine whether overall and trust associated productivity gains are transient effects, one off shifts, or self perpetuating reorientations of organisational behaviour. Hospitals may have chosen to become trusts because they anticipated being able to increase productivity. Increases in the proportions of small purchasers were associated with increasing costs. Importantly, this study could not adjust for changes in the quality of care. (+info)