Waiting Time Targets And Health Care Quality: Empirical Investigation of English Acute Trusts
The difficulty of measuring public services outcome results in governments adopting some quality performance measurements to oversee the standards and characteristics of the presented services. This paper examines the effectiveness of the waiting time target set by the English National Health Care Service which is used as a benchmark for assessing the performance of the hospital. The empirical investigation assesses the quality performance of the hospitals with relevance to their average waiting times and the patients waiting more than the target of 13 weeks in 146 acute trusts in England from 2009 to 2013. The study examines to which extent the waiting time policy would result in higher quality service and better health outcomes. The empirical analysis uses three sets of quality indicators including observed in-hospital mortality, the number of elective cancelled operations and health gain scores in three operations as reported by patients (PROM). The basic results show that waiting times could reflect some dimensions of the quality of the health care unit but this association is not systemic and does not always hold.