Health Care Technology Diffusion

Health Care Technology Diffusion in the NHS and Workforce Impact

Principal Investigator: Alistair McGuire (LSE-Health) and Victoria Serra-Sastre (City, University of London)
Researchers: Laia Maynou-Pujolràs (LSE-Health)
Start Date: 01 April 2015
End Date: 31 March 2021
Region: Europe
Keywords: Technology diffusion, NHS, workforce, elasticity, supply methods


This research is funded by The Health Foundation Efficiency Research Program.

It builds upon, and extends, existing research that focuses on the diffusion of medical technologies. The objective of this project is to:

  • examine the effects of new technologies introduced into the NHS in front of existing technologies (e.g. new interventions for cardiovascular disease or laparoscopic procedures)
  • estimate the effect of the introduction of these new technologies on workforce
  • explore whether a new intervention incorporate a change in workforce planning

The data used in this research combines different sources -  mainly the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) and NHS Electronic Staff Records (ESR).

The period of analysis covers the financial year 1999/2000 to 2012/2013. In terms of methodology, we apply panel data techniques to determine if the new technology is a substitute or a complement of the existing one across the NHS, with a particular emphasis on the impact that technology has on the workforce composition.

Our analysis is at the hospital level and observes the relationship between the volume of interventions and workforce, while controlling for hospital and at risk population characteristics.

Given the lack of quantitative evidence on the degree of substitution or complementarity across surgical interventions, such analysis gives indicative estimates of productivity gains attributable to flexible workforce planning and technology uptake.

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