This study seeks to understand the potential impact of outsourcing on healthcare processes. By referring to a wider scope of industries and sectors, as they have been the experimental fields of most of the studies on outsourcing, we highlight the pros and cons of the externalization of activities related to patient care. Our purpose is to show and contextualize the (yet) ambiguous effects of relying on external partners in delivering services related to the health of patients. We argue that the seek for efficiency might sometimes hinder the global outcome of care; further we state that given the peculiar nature of the healthcare, outsourcing needs to be used within a wider strategic analysis of the activities. This study starts with a review of the literature on outsourcing strategies applied to healthcare sector and it also proposes an analytical model for decision-making. The main conclusion is that healthcare organizations should set up proper mechanisms for the governance of the overall transactions related to outsourcing in order to extend the span of control over the external providers as long as the effectiveness and the efficacy of the general outcome is not compromised. Both private and public health providers could benefit from a more reliable model for deciding on the span of their activities that can be outsourced.
- patient care