What Health Care Teaches Us about Measuring Productivity in Higher Education
Any study that attempts to measure productivity in higher education faces numerous challenges. Knowing these challenges and laden with institutional knowledge, higher education experts may be tempted to “go it alone” in studying productivity. They may even, feeling that the challenges are insurmountable, refrain from studying productivity in higher education at all. However, many of the same issues arise when studying productivity in the health care industry, and there is a rich history of researchers confronting and overcoming these issues. It would be wasteful not to distill the lessons learned in health care and suggest how they apply to higher education. Thus, in this chapter, I identify parallels between the health care and higher education sectors. I suggest lessons from health care that might translate to the study of productivity in higher education.
I received no outside funding for this research.
Douglas Staiger is a co-founder, consults for, and holds an equity interest in ArborMetrix, Inc., a company that sells efficiency measurement systems and consulting services to insurers and hospitals.