A Method for Identifying Cost-Efficient Practices in the Treatment of Thoracic Empyema

Emmanuel Thanassoulis*, Alexander Takamura-Tweedy , Mitul Patel, Satish Rao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims There is a need to identify cost-efficient practices in delivering healthcare. This study illustrates how cost-efficient practices can be identified and disseminated in treating thoracic empyema. Methods Data envelopment analysis was used to identify the scope for reducing length of stay, and therefore costs, at inpatient spell level for thoracic empyema. Results The potential for length of stay reduction was identified, representing about 50% of the recorded length of stay. Significant differences in potential for length of stay reduction were also found between consultant teams and between sources of patient admission. Conclusions Data envelopment analysis enables multiple conditioning factors affecting costs at inpatient spell level to be taken into account simultaneously. It enables management to identify and disseminate best practice within its own hospital. The approach can be transferred to other inpatient settings beyond thoracic empyema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Healthcare Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in British Journal of Healthcare Management, copyright © MA Healthcare, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://doi.org/10.12968/bjhc.2019.0010


  • Cost efficiency
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Healthcare
  • Thoracic empyema


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