Evaluation of efficiency in Colombian hospitals: An analysis for the post-reform period

Víctor Giménez, William Prieto, Diego Prior, Emili Tortosa-Ausina

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7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier Ltd In this study we analyze the performance of 602 level 1 Colombian hospitals for the period 2009–2013. The analysis is carried out from both static and temporal perspectives in order to evaluate the evolution of total factor productivity (change in hospital performance) and its components throughout the period. The study also explores a question relevant not only to the Colombian health system, but to many others around the world, of whether primary care centers excessively refer patients to high-level hospitals, thereby negatively affecting the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of all healthcare service provision. The results demonstrated that adjusted production (service provision) and levels of quality and referrals to higher-level hospitals could be improved, on average, by 44%. This increase in health service provision levels and their quality can be achieved by reducing personnel expenditure (by an average of 22%), expenditure on medicines (by 20%), and purchasing expenses (by 11%). The temporal analysis shows that total factor productivity (hospital performance change) worsened by 1% during the period, mainly due to the technological backlash experienced despite a slightly positive evolution in efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Bad outputs
  • Efficiency
  • Global Malmquist-Luenberger index
  • Hospitals
  • Quality

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