The Turkish healthcare system has seen broad population-based improvements in expanded health insurance coverage and access to healthcare services. Hospital performance in this national system is understudied. We aimed to identify trends in hospital performance over time following implementation of the Health Transformation Program and describe how regional outcomes correlate with regional vital statistics.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 674 public hospitals in Turkey using baseline data from 2013 and follow-up data from 2014-15 collected by the Turkish Statistical Institution (TSI) and the Public Hospital Agency (PHA). We report demographic and socioeconomic data across 12 geographic regions and analyze 29 hospital-level performance measures across four domains: (1) health services; (2) administrative services; (3) financial services; and (4) quality measures. We examine temporal variation, and study correlation between performance measures and regional vital statistics. We fit mixed-effects linear regression models to estimate linear trend over time accounting for within-hospital residual correlation. We prepared our manuscript in accordance with guidelines set by the STROBE statement for cohort studies.
During the three years of study period, 21 of 29 measures improved, and 8 measures worsened. All but 3 measures demonstrated significant differences across regions of the country. Several measures, including inpatient efficiency, patient satisfaction, and audit score, are associated with regional infant mortality and life expectancy.
Evidence for temporal improvement in hospital-level performance may suggest some positive changes within the Turkish national healthcare system. Correlation of some measures with regional level health outcomes suggests a quality measurement strategy to monitor performance changes in the future. Although hospital-level functions have improved performance, the results of our study may help achieve further improvement for the health of the country’s citizens.