Can experience improve hospital management?

Haruhisa Fukuda, Kazuhide Okuma, Yuichi Imanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Methods: The study sample comprised individuals who had undergone surgery for unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms and had been discharged from participant hospitals between April 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008. We analyzed the association between case volume (both at the hospital and surgeon level) and postoperative complications using multilevel logistic regression analysis. Multilevel log-linear regression analyses were performed to investigate the associations between case volume and length of stay (LOS) before and after surgery.

Results: We analyzed 909 patients and 849 patients using the hospital-level and surgeon-level analytical models, respectively. The odds ratio of postoperative complication occurrence for an increase of one surgery annually was 0.981 (P< 0.001) at the hospital level and 0.982 (P<0.001) at the surgeon level. The log-linear regression analyses showed that shorter postoperative LOS was significantly associated with high hospital-level case volume (coefficient for an increase of one surgery: 20.006, P= 0.009) and surgeon-level case volume (coefficient for an increase of one surgery: 20.011, P=0.022). Although an increase of one surgery annually at the hospital level was statistically associated with a reduction of preoperative LOS by 1.1% (P =0.006), there was no significant association detected between surgeon-level case volume and preoperative LOS (P=0.504).

Conclusion: Experience at the hospital level may contribute to the improvement of hospital management efficiency.

Background: Experience curve effects were first observed in the industrial arena as demonstrations of the relationship between experience and efficiency. These relationships were largely determined by improvements in management efficiency and quality of care. In the health care industry, volume-outcome relationships have been established with respect to quality of care improvement, but little is known about the effects of experience on management efficiency. Here, we examine the relationship between experience and hospital management in Japanese hospitals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106884
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 24 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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