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Health Care Manag Sci. 2013 Sep;16(3):228-35. doi: 10.1007/s10729-013-9228-0. Epub 2013 Mar 6.

Measuring the efficiencies of visiting nurse service agencies using data envelopment analysis.

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Department of Community Health Nursing, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


This study develops a measure of the efficiency of visiting nurse (VN) agencies in Japan, examining the issues related to the measurement of efficiency, and identifying the characteristics that influence efficiency. We have employed a data envelopment analysis to measure the efficiency of 108 VN agencies, using the numbers of 5 types of staff as the input variables and the numbers of 3 types of visits as the output variables. The median efficiency scores of the VN agencies were found to be 0.80 and 1.00 according to the constant returns to scale (CRS) and variable returns to scale (VRS) models, respectively, and the median scale efficiency score was 0.95. This study supports using both the CRS and VRS models to measure the scale efficiency of VN service agencies. We also found that relatively efficient VN agencies filled at least 30 % of staff positions with experienced workers, and so concluded that this characteristic has a direct influence on the length of visits.

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