An augmented data envelopment analysis approach for designing a health service network


Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


Background: In the healthcare systems, health centers are taken into consideration as the most important sector due to providing health care services to people. In this respect, the assessing of this center is of great importance. Therefore, there is a need for a performance evaluation system to evaluate both efficiency and effectiveness of human resource, processes, and programs of health centers to improve the competitive power.
Methods: To measure the efficiency and productivity of Decision Making Units (DMUs), Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a nonparametric technique, is considered as the most common tool and can be applied to compare the performance of health centers. However, being DMUs homogenous is one of the underlying assumptions of DEA which prevent us from devising this technique because health centers provide different services, and thus, they are incommensurable. To overcome this barrier, a novel DEA technique is developed to select the best locations for health centers of Iran’s healthcare system.
Results: A practical case study, that is designing the health service network for urban residents’ health center (towns) in Fars province, is incorporated into the proposed technique. Finally, the candidate locations for health centers are ranked in terms of efficiency using novel DEA technique, and then, the sensitivity analysis is conducted on final results.
Conclusion: The obtained results imply the high performance of the proposed technique in the ranking of efficient health centers in health care systems. Moreover, this technique introduces a comprehensive performance evaluation tool for health centers and also aids managers and decision-makers to more accurately plan for selecting the best candidate location for health centers along with saving the resources.


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