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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1991;24(3): 400-413.
An analysis of the physician productivity in general hospitals.
Jung Un Lee, Ki Hyo Lee, Ok Ryun Moon
School of Public Health Seoul National University, Korea.
The purpose of this paper is to identify factors affecting the optimum mix of required inputs and other relevant factors which account for the variation in physician's productivity in general hospitals, and to find out their implications for the efficient health planning and management. An extended version of Cobb-Douglas production function and cross sectional data of one day patient census from all general hospitals in Korea in 1988 were used in the analysis. Main results of the analysis and their implications could be summarized as follows ; (1) The production function for physician's inpatient service shows the evidence of economies of scale, but the production function for physician's outpatient and adjusted-patient service, which combines both out- and inpatient service, shows that of dis-economies of scale. (2) The physician's role for production for all service is smaller than auxiliary personnel's, which imply that more intensive utilization of nurses, nursing aides and other auxiliary personnel is desirable for improving general hospital productivity. (3) In case of physician's inpatient and adjusted-patient service, nurses is recommended for the efficient operation of general hospitals. (4) The factor of hospital beds plays the leading role among required inputs in the production for physician's in- and adjusted-patient service. (5) The physician's productivity of general hospitals in rural area is lower than that in urban area. And the productivity of teaching hospitals is lower than that of the other hospitals. Further analysis was made in physician production function based upon the size of hospitals, namely those hospitals below 250 beds and those above. Explained variances by the factor of hospital beds was significantly increased in the case of those hospitals above 250. A more detailed and thorough investigation is needed for verifying factors influencing physician's productivity in general hospitals in Korea.
Key words: general hospital; physician's productivity; production function
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