Results of the survey of European hospital managers
By Dr. Carsten Frank Hutt
The study “Trends in European Hospital Management” is the result of a collaboration between E-Hospital and Emergent Actio.
A personalised invitation containing a password protected link to the survey system was sent out with the July/August issue of E-Hospital. Additionally, the study was introduced within the journal including information on how to register and take part.
The online questionnaire was provided in three different languages: English, German and French, to reflect official languages of the European Association of Hospital Managers.
The survey was finally closed on 13 November 2007. 274 contributions sent by hospital managers from all over Europe were received.
The questionnaire covered a wide range of issues: from utilisation rates, patient information systems, technical medical equipment and financing to aspects of human resources, marketing and criteria of medical quality, to point out some of the aspects of the study.
We are now happy to present our analysis of the results, focusing mostly on the last part of the study, where we asked hospital managers about future perspectives and trends.
1. Size of a Hospital and Competitiveness.
Thesis : The bigger the hospital, the more competitive it becomes.
This thesis is controversial. Half of the managers surveyed support this statement, while the other half disagree. When we carried out a deeper analysis of the answers, we realised that especially very small and very large hospitals tend to agree with the statement whereas hospital managers of middle sized hospitals tend to disagree. Also interesting to us was the fact that hospital managers with a medical background supported this thesis more often than their colleagues with a non medical background.
Very small and very large hospitals tend to agree with the statement.
2. Medical Quality and Information Technology
Thesis: As far as the improvement of medical quality is concerned, health establishments underestimate the importance of information technology.
More than 70 percent of the interviewed hospital managers think that hospitals and clinics underestimate the importance of information technology. This underlines the high value information technology already represents.
3. Profitability and Information Technology
Thesis: As far as profitability and cost-effectiveness is concerned, hospitals underestimate the importance of information technology.
Even more crucial, hospital managers emphasise the importance of information technology in terms of profitability and cost-effectiveness.
4. Diversification and Number of Hospitals
Thesis : Around 20 to 30 percent of the hospitals currently existing in my country will disappear by 2020.
At first, we note a nearly balanced ratio of about 50 percent who agree and 50 percent who disagree with this thesis. This is astonishing if we take into account the consequences of this trend. But if we analyse the answers at national level, we get a more differentiated picture. The countries listed below show the median of the answers. In countries like Hungary and Poland, hospital managers totally agree with the statement, whereas their colleagues in the Czech Republic, Germany, France or Turkey are more nuanced in their support. The situation in countries like Russia, Spain or Greece is totally different. Also in Sweden, Italy or Austria, hospital managers tend to disagree with the statement.
Median by Country: