Assessing the technical efficiency of health posts in rural Guatemala: a data envelopment analysis
2014 (English)In: Global health action, ISSN 1654-9880, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 7, 23190- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Introduction : Strengthening health service delivery to the rural poor is an important means of redressing inequities. Meso-level managers can help enhance efficiency in the utilization of existing resources through the application of practical tools to analyze routinely collected data reflecting inputs and outputs. This study aimed to assess the efficiency and change in productivity of health posts over two years in a rural department of Guatemala.
Methods : Data envelopment analysis was used to measure health posts' technical efficiency and productivity change for 2008 and 2009. Input/output data were collected from the regional health office of Alta Verapaz for 34 health posts from the 19 districts comprising the health region.
Results : Technical efficiency varied widely across health posts, with mean scores of 0.78 (SD=0.24) and 0.75 (SD=0.21) in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Overall, productivity increased by 4%, though 47% of health posts experienced a decline in productivity. Results were combined on a bivariate plot to identify health posts at the high and low extremes of efficiency, which should be followed up to determine how and why their production processes are operating differently.
Conclusions : Assessing efficiency using the data that are available at the meso-level can serve as a first step in strengthening performance. Further work is required to support managers in the routine application of efficiency analysis and putting the results to use in guiding efforts to improve service delivery and increase utilization.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, Centre for Global Health Research , 2014. Vol. 7, 23190- p.
data envelopment analysis; efficiency; Malmquist; primary health care; health services management; Guatemala
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-85680DOI: 10.3402/gha.v7.23190ISI: 000329933800001PubMedID: 24461356OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-85680DiVA: diva2:695074