InterJournal Complex Systems, 915
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [915]
Submission Date: 2004
Author(s): Basile Spyropoulos

Subject(s): CX.4



The modern hospital consists of various functional units, which contribute to the achievement of common goals, which are set for the entire structure, but they maintain a relative autonomy and perform unique roles. Each unit adopts similar methodological approaches, but it informs these approaches with the corresponding concrete content peculiar to its scope. This wide variety of activities, express the diverse levels of complexity, which should be encountered, in order to efficiently develop, the appropriate information technology supported means to estimate the cost distribution in each specific Hospital. This is necessary, since all health-care Institutions seek to optimize their care delivery processes, and their management needs are becoming more complicated, as they try to keep pace with the rapid development and the diversity of Biomedical Technology applied, as well as, the users cost by contemporary health-care. However, within the Greek National Health System, there is not at the time, a standardized approach, neither to the operational cost effectiveness and efficacy of the Hospitals, nor a "case" classification algorithm, allowing for a rational remuneration of the Institutions, by the various health-insurance organizations. Therefore, a resources allocation and cost-capturing technique has been developed, allowing for the major Hospital Departments and Units, to monitor their resources consumption, established on an appropriate combination of technical, managerial and clinical of information. The technique is based on an appropriate correlation of the major cost components, in each department of a specific hospital, that is: • The mean medical equipment cost contribution. • The average building and infrastructure maintenance cost. • The approximate reagents and other dispensable material cost. • The mean procedure related medication cost. • The mean weighted manpower cost. Furthermore, this technique allows for an estimation of the mean cost associated to specific medical, laboratory and administrative activities. The “vehicle” for the this approach, constitute, first, the combination of several administrative and statistical hospital databases, second, the extraction of information concerning the allocation of resources, out of the medical records, and finally, the approximation, through procedures observations and simulations, of the manpower distribution pattern, within the various departments, and among the specific treatment cases. It should be kept in mind, that, unfortunately, only a small portion of the above mentioned data are available in digital form, in the Greek National Health System hospitals. The employment of the developed technique, lend herself for the engagement of low-cost, commonly used commercially available software tools and has given useful results in pilot runs, in a virtual hospital environment, based on empirical real-world data. However, the multifarious and complex nature of the diagnostic and treatment procedures, requires continuous verification of the relevant assumptions, during real-world applications.

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