Evidence-Based Standards for Measuring Nurse Staffing and Performance

Policy makers and hospital administrators are seeking evidence to support nursing staffing decisions that includes both the volume and mix of nurses required to provide efficient and effective care. The principal objective of this study was to examine the interrelationships between variables thought to influence patient, nurse, and system outcomes. The results provide quality, evidence-based standards for adjusted ranges of nursing productivity/utilization and for staffing levels for patients receiving cardiac and cardiovascular nursing care. [from executive summary]

Improving the Performance of Primary Providers in Family Planning and Reproductive Health: Results and Lessons Learned from the PRIME II Project, 1999-2004

A foundation of collaborative partnership, strong technical staff and field presence, and practical monitoring and evaluation anchored the PRIME II Project’s successful efforts to improve the performance of primary providers of family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) services. PRIME II’s global achievements and lessons learned are summarized in the first section; an overview of project results in each technical leadership and focus area is presented in Chapter 2. [author’s description]

Cost Analysis Tool: Simplifying Cost Analysis for Managers and Staff of Health Care Services

Health care organizations often do not know what their costs are and have no simple way of assessing costs on a regular basis… This cost analysis tool involves site administrators and service providers themselves in measuring recurrent direct costs of providing services. [author’s description]

Working Practices and Incomes of Health Workers: Evidence from an Evaluation of a Delivery Fee Exemption Scheme in Ghana

This article describes a survey of health workers and traditional birth attendants (TBAs) which was carried out in 2005 in two regions of Ghana. The objective of the survey was to ascertain the impact of the introduction of a delivery fee exemption scheme on both health workers and those providers who were excluded from the scheme (TBAs).

Future of Performance Improvement in International Health

By looking at the many projects completed and under way, we can speculate about what lies ahead for HPT (called simply performance improvement in our community) in the places we work. [The author] make some predictions for the future of performance improvement in developing country public health. [He] thinks performance improvement use will become ubiquitous, more flexible, more inclusive of other approaches, and more comprehensive in looking at performer support systems. [adapted from author]

Achieving a More Efficient Health Care Workforce

This presentation was part of the 2006 Global Health Mini-University. A key approach to address the global shortage of healthcare providers is to improve the productivity of existing workers, thereby improving the quality and coverage of services. Improving the work environment and task shifting of health functions to different cadres of providers are two promising interventions that are being used for this purpose. This session will describe and discuss these and some of the other innovative solutions to enhance the capacity and productivity of the current workforce and to build coherence into the management of human resources for stronger health systems. [publisher’s description]

Organizing Work Better

Family planning and other health care organizations in developing countries increasingly must do more with the same resources, and sometimes with fewer. Reorganizing work processes offers one common-sense way to help staff members at all levels cope with growing demands. [author’s description]

Supporting the Retention of Health Resources for Health: SACD Policy Context

This report presents a review of issues in the regional policy context that are of relevance to the retention of human resources for the health sector (HRH) within the region, based on a rapid appraisal in selected countries and at regional level. This work specifically focussed on the actions needed to stem the flow of international migration by encouraging the retention of health staff within countries. A particular concern raised across countries is staff retention in the public and rural services that preferentially serve the poorest populations. Importantly, policy documents and national

Make Better Use of Provider Time in Public Health Clinics

Concern about increasing demand for reproductive health services has led program managers to examine the productivity and costs of existing programs. While all programs can advocate for additional funds from their governments and establish or increase prices for services to clients, often they can also use their existing resources more efficiently. Evidence from reproductive health programs across developing countries suggests that service providers are often underutilized. [author’s description]

Scaling up Health and Education Workers: Increasing the Performance and Productivity of an Existing Stock of Health Workers

This review paper…looks at strategies that have been undertaken to increase the productivity of health workers. It examines the evidence to support or reject the hypothesis that short term training, incentives, better equipment, supplies and conditions and other things can be employed that improve outputs and health outcomes without increasing the numbers of health workers. The review provides an overview of key aspects and options for improving productivity, with country illustrative examples. [author’s description]

Computer-Based Tools to Improve Supervision, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Reproductive Health Programs

The Population Council and The Pubcomm Group, Inc. have developed simple, inexpensive, user-friendly computerized job aids to assist supervisors in improving the quality of family planning, maternity care, and postabortion care services. The software is free to download. [publisher’s description]

Business and Malaria: A Neglected Threat?

This report discusses the impacts of malaria on business. It reviews the academic literature on the impacts of malaria on economies and businesses, presents data from survey on the business impacts of malaria, discusses the actions the private sector can take to combat malaria, and reviews examples of business malaria programs. The final section makes some recommendations for businesses considering engagement in malaria control. [adapted from author]

Abundant for the Few, Shortage for the Majority: the Inequitable Distribution of Doctors in Thailand

This paper reviews the situation and trend in human resources for health and its priority problems in Thailand. It also highlights the issue of the inequitable distribution of doctors. Through several brainstorming sessions among stakeholders, it summarizes a package of recommendations for the future continuous and sustainable knowledge-based human resources for health development. [from abstract]

Guide to Rapid Assessment of Human Resources for Health

This rapid-assessment guide is designed to help users arrive at a global overview of a country’s HRH situation. The guide is designed to help users assess current HRH constraints and challenges to “scaling up” health interventions. HRH main issues include: Policy, regulation and planning; Management and performance improvement; Labour market; Education, training and research; HRH and priority health programmes; and Monitoring and evaluation. [author’s description]

Australia's Health Workforce: Research Report

Australia is experiencing workforce shortages across a number of health professions despite a significant and growing reliance on overseas trained health workers. The shortages are even more acute in rural and remote areas. It is critical to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the available health workforce, and to improve its distribution. This report describes the Australian government’s objectives of developing a more sustainable and responsive health workforce while maintaining a commitment to high quality and safe health outcomes. A set of national workforce objectives are also proposed.

Iranian Staff Nurses' Views of Their Productivity and Human Resource Factors Improving and Impeding It: A Qualitative Study

Nurses, as the largest human resource element of health care systems, have a major role in providing ongoing, high-quality care to patients. Productivity is a significant indicator of professional development within any professional group, including nurses. The human resource element has been identified as the most important factor affecting productivity. This research aimed to explore nurses’ perceptions and experiences of productivity and human resource factors improving or impeding it. [from abstract]

How Can We Achieve and Maintain High-Quality Performance of Health Workers in Low-Resource Settings?

In low and middle income countries, health workers are essential for the delivery of health interventions. However, inadequate health-worker performance is a very widespread problem. We present an overview of issues and evidence about the determinants of performance and strategies for improving it. [authors’ description]