Improving clinical efficiency of military treatment facilities
Piner, Thomas J.
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The Department of Defense is facing medical expenses that are growing at an unprecedented rate. The top leadership is looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency while still providing world class medical care for its beneficiaries. One option is to implement a relatively new tool called Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). This tool uses linear programming to identify efficient entities, called decision making units (DMU), relative to the other entities in the set. In the past, DEA studies used military hospitals as DMUs. This study is different in that it uses clinics within hospitals as DMUs. The rational behind this is that administrators have difficulty using data that tells them in general terms that they have too many people or are spending too much money. What they need is a tool that tells them where there are too many people or where they are spending too much money. A hospital is made up of clinics so it is intuitive to begin by improving the efficiency of the clinics which in turn will improve the efficiency of the whole hospital.
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