Background: The objective of this study is to investigate hospital performance using an emerging analytics approach. Given that hospital care accounts for a large segment of healthcare spending, it is essential that hospital performance be measured over time to determine whether and where there is room for improvement in some of its critical success factors, and if there are savings to be found.
Methods: Employing indicators such as hospital cost, in-hospital death rate, length of hospital stay, and the number of discharges from the hospital, we look at the trends for these indicators over a 10-year period. Data was extracted from the National Statistics Database of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP.net), and Cognos and Tableau were used as visualization and analysis tools.
Results: Our central finding is that over the 10-year analysis period, U.S. hospitals improved in several areas, including reduction in length of stay in hospitals, reduction in number of in-hospital deaths, and increase in number of discharges from hospitals. Despite these improvements, however, the cost of healthcare rose significantly.
Conclusions: We show how healthcare administrators can learn from past performance in determining where to focus attention and improve outcomes. We also present a global perspective of healthcare and propose how critical it is for the U.S. to focus on major reduction in healthcare costs, beginning with hospital charges.