|Title:||Innovations and its Impact on the Performance of Acute Care Hospitals in Germany – An Investigation Containing Empirical Research and Software Development|
Vol. 8, No 4, 2015
Published date: 20-12-2015 (print) / 20-12-2015 (online)
Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
|Keywords:||Hospitals, Innovations, Performance, Software development, Germany|
|JEL classification:||M21, I11, L86, C88|
Objectives: Innovations are the basis for economic progress and development in every society. Nevertheless, not many scientific studies exist about the influence of innovations on the hospital performance in the German health care sector. The purpose of this paperis to evaluate the impact of innovations on the performance of acute care hospitals in Germany. Based on this scientific foundation a software programme shall be developed to give hospitals, researchers, consultancies and other stakeholders the possibility to evaluate their innovative activity, to benchmark their hospitals against their peer group and to give individualized suggestions for improving the performance. The software programme is to be developed in cooperation with the software start-up company BinDoc as a web-based tool. Accordingly, this paper follows an approach of combining scientific work with practical software application. Methods: The paper offers a short literature review of the influence of innovations on the performance of hospitals and demonstrates the relevance of software applications in health care business. In addition an introduction to data base development and web-based software is provided. Thereafter, key figures for measuring the influence of innovations on the performance of hospitals are evaluated. For the empirical part a sample of 30 acute care hospitals was analysed. For each hospital of the sample a number of approx. 240 variables was gathered to create a sufficiently sized database for the investigation. Results: Hospitals in private ownership show a significantly higher performance in the financial key figures as well as a higher performance in patient satisfaction than hospitals in public ownership. On the other hand there is a slightly higher performance in the innovative key figures among public hospitals, however most of them not at statistically significant level. Some significant correlations between innovations and performance were identified, but not all indicators suggest that the performance is positively influenced by innovations. Conclusion: The results of the investigation can be interpreted as follows: Due to some significant correlations between innovations and financial and quality performance it is not possible to provide a clear statement about the impact of innovations on the performance of acute care hospitals so far. Because of this further research is needed to validate the findings and expand the investigation. Follow-up research should also investigate whether there are enough incentives for hospitals to be innovative or whether regulation has to be changed.