Identifying Nurses' Rewards: a Qualitative Categorization Study in Belgium

Rewards are important in attracting, motivating and retaining the most qualified employees, and nurses are no exception to this rule. This makes the establishment of an efficient reward system for nurses a true challenge for every hospital manager. A reward does not necessarily have a financial connotation: non-financial rewards may matter too, or may even be more important. Therefore, the present study examines nurses’ reward perceptions, in order to identify potential reward options. [abstract]

Public Sector Health Worker Motivation and Health Sector Reform: a Conceptual Framework

This paper offers a conceptual framework for considering the many layers of influences upon health worker motivation. It suggests that worker motivation is influenced not only by specific incentive schemes targeted at workers, but also by the whole range of health sector reforms which potentially affect organizational culture, reporting structures, channels of accountability, etc.

Perceptions of Health Workers about Conditions of Service: a Namibian Case Study

This study was implemented as part of the EQUINET theme work on Human Resources for Health coordinated by Health systems Trust. The study set out to explore and describe the influence of conditions of service on the movement and retention of the health professionals in Namibia. It is a qualitative study targeting mainly professional nurses, doctors, social workers and health inspectors at both operational and managerial levels, in public and private sectors. [from executive summary]

Alternative Provider Payment Methods: Incentives for Improving Health Care Delivery

Provider payment methods are important to consider any time a government or a payor wants to improve the efficiency and the quality of health services with the use of its funds. Changes in provider payment methods are often pivotal to broader health reform measures to contain costs and use existing resources effectively, and also to improve quality of care and equitable financial access to care. [author’s description]

Using Incentives to Improve Health Care Delivery

Incentives that affect worker performance may be modified by system change. Attention to both financial and non-financial incentives can make health care delivery more effective. [author’s description]

Improving Health Workforce Performance

As part of the High-Level Forum on the Health Millennium Development Goals, this issue paper discusses improving health workforce performance as a key factor in meeting MDGs. The required scaling up of interventions towards the MDGs depends on effective health services delivery systems (HSDS). The availability, the skills, the attitudes, motivation, and behaviors of health workers are key to well-functioning HSDS. [adapted from author]

Developing and Testing an Instrument for Identifying Performance Incentives in the Greek Health Care Sector

In the era of cost containment, managers are constantly pursuing increased organizational performance and productivity by aiming at the obvious target, i.e. the workforce. The health care sector, in which production processes are more complicated compared to other industries, is not an exception. In light of recent legislation in Greece in which efficiency improvement and achievement of specific performance targets are identified as undisputable health system goals, the purpose of this study was to develop a reliable and valid instrument for investigating the attitudes of Greek physicians, nurses and administrative personnel towards job-related aspects, and the extent to which these motivate them to improve performance and increase productivity.

What Interventions Do South African Qualified Doctors Think Will Retain Them in Rural Hospitals of the Limpopo Province of South Africa?

The Department of Health in South Africa has attempted to address the shortage of rural doctors by introducing various interventions, including an increase in salaries, introduction of scarce skills and rural allowances, the deployment of foreign doctors, and upgrading of clinics and hospitals. Despite these, the maldistribution of doctors working in South Africa has not improved significantly. The main objectives of this study were to identify interventions as proposed by doctors in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa and to develop recommendations based on these. [from introduction]

Health Worker Motivation in Africa: the Role of Non-Financial Incentives and Human Resource Management Tools

There is a serious human resource crisis in the health sector in developing countries, particularly in Africa. One of the challenges is the low motivation of health workers. Experience and the evidence suggest that any comprehensive strategy to maximize health worker motivation in a developing country context has to involve a mix of financial and non-financial incentives. This study assesses the role of non-financial incentives for motivation in two cases, in Benin and Kenya. [abstract]

How to Pay: Understanding and Using Incentives

Many countries have experimented with alternative ways of paying providers of health care services. This paper illustrates different methods, suggests some of the theoretic advantages and limitations of each, and provides a general theoretical framework for evaluating alternatives. Over the last two decades, new and more sophisticated payment systems have evolved, with a broadening of units of payment and setting of payments prospectively. The authors discuss the international experience of a number of payment systems, both traditional and more recently developed, including line-item budgeting, salary, fee-for-service, per diem, case-mix adjusted per episode, global budgets and capitation.

Performance-Based Reimbursement Scheme: a Final Report of a Pilot Study

The NGO Service Delivery Program (NSDP) developed a system ensuring better access of the health services to the poorest segment of the population, along with raising revenue by providing fee-for services to the better off population. The former strategy highlights a safety net policy for the poorest segment, who are identified by participatory rapid appraisal technique and handed out a health benefit card. The latter strategy helps the NGOs to revise their service charges according to local demand and other factors. This report analyzes this pilot effort and its drawbacks and makes recommendations based on lessons learned. [adapted from author]

Survival and Retention Strategies for Malawian Health Professionals

The broad objective of this paper is to contribute to the retention of health workers in Malawi by providing an enhanced understanding of health workers’ coping strategies, together with the identification of possible strategies that could impact on their retention. [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]

Can "Pay for Performance" Increase Utilization by the Poor and Improve the Quality of Health Services?

This paper, which was prepared as background for the Working Group on Performance Based Incentives, looks at a particular type of financing intervention that has been applied in several different ways around the world to address the joint problems of underutilization and low quality of health services. The focus is on demand- and supply-side financial and material (examples: food, travel vouchers) incentives that can be used to improve utilization and quality of ambulatory health care services, especially for the poor. [from introduction]

Improving Health Services and Strengthening Health Systems: Adopting and Implementing Innovative Strategies

In recent years, a number of specific strategies for improving health services and strengthening health systems have been consistently advocated. In order to advise governments, WHO commissioned this exploratory study to examine more closely the track record of these strategies in twelve low-income countries. [author’s description]

Health Worker Benefits in a Period of Broad Civil Service Reform: The Philippine Experience

Developing countries that have to cope with pressures to reform their bureaucracies have to contend with increasing health worker benefits and salaries that are often intended to retain these health workers in government service. In the Philippines, national and local efforts in health have been forced to focus on guaranteeing some of these benefits, and local governments are feeling the financial limitations of their local funds. [from abstract]

Health Worker Motivation in Jordan and Georgia: A Synthesis of Results

Health worker motivation has the potential to have a large impact on health systems performance, yet little is known about the key determinants and outcomes of motivation in developing and transition countries. This study, conducted in Jordan and Georgia focused on the individual determinants and outcomes of the worker’s motivational process. A wide range of psychometric scales was used to assess individual differences, perceived contextual factors and motivational outcomes (feelings, thoughts and behaviors). Although the two countries have very different cultural and socio-economic environments, many similarities existed among key determinants between the two countries.

Dual Practice of Public Sector Health Care Providers in Peru

To explore the extent, characteristics, incentives, effects and possible regulation of private medical practice in public facilities this study undertook a cross sectional quantitative

Dual Job Holding by Public Sector Health Professionals in Highly Resource-Constrained Settings: Problem or Solution?

This paper examines the policy options for the regulation of dual job holding by medical professionals in highly resource-constrained settings. It draws on the limited evidence available on this topic to assess a number of regulatory options in relation to the objectives of quality of care and access to services, as well as some of the policy constraints that can undermine implementation in resource-poor settings. [from abstract]

Pay and Non-Pay Incentives, Performance and Motivation

This paper provides an overview of evidence of the effects of incentives on the performance and motivation of independent health professionals and health workers.

Effect of Performance-Related Pay of Hospital Doctors on Hospital Behaviour: A Case Study From Shandong, China

With the recognition that public hospitals are often productively inefficient, reforms have taken place worldwide to increase their administrative autonomy and financial responsibility. Reforms in China have been some of the most radical: the government budget for public hospitals was fixed, and hospitals had to rely on charges to fill their financing gap. Accompanying these changes was the widespread introduction of performance-related pay for hospital doctors, termed the “bonus” system. While the policy objective was to improve productivity and cost recovery, it is likely that the incentive to increase the quantity of care provided would operate regardless of whether the care was medically necessary.

What Motivates Lay Volunteers in High Burden but Resource-Limited Tuberculosis Control Programmes? Perceptions from the Northern Cape province, South Africa

This study explored the factors that motivate lay volunteers to join tuberculosis (TB) control programmes in high burden but resource-limited settings. [adapted from abstract]

Provider Payments and Patient Charges as Policy Tools for Cost-Containment: How Successful are They in High-income Countries?

In this paper, we focus on those policy instruments with monetary incentives that are used to contain public health expenditure in high-income countries.

Using Performance-Based Payments to Improve Health Programs

This issue presents a system for funding programs that is tied to program performance to help providers improve their services and the impact of those services in the client population. This issue explains how different payment mechanisms encourage different types of organizational behavior, and why performance-based payment schemes are more likely to help achieve the desired goals than traditional payment schemes. [editors’ description]

Factors Affecting the Performance of Maternal Health Care Providers in Armenia

Over the last five years, international development organizations began to modify and adapt the conventional Performance Improvement Model for use in low-resource settings. This model outlines the five key factors believed to influence performance outcomes: job expectations, performance feedback, environment and tools, motivation and incentives, and knowledge and skills. This study presents a unique exploration of how the factors affect the performance of primary reproductive health providers (nurse-midwives) in two regions of Armenia. [from abstract]

Complexity and Health Workforce Issues

This paper looks at the successes and failures of today’s health care workforce. Hargadon and Plsek argue that our current solutions to the problems in the health workforce are insufficient. To overcome these insufficiencies, they believe that we need to better understand the complexities of the workforce. However, this is not an easy feat, because these problems challenge our traditional mental models of how things should work. [abstract]

Should Physicians' Dual Practice Be Limited? An Incentive Approach

We develop a principal-agent model to analyze how the behavior of a physician in the
public sector is affected by his activities in the private sector. We show that the physician will have incentives to over-provide medical services when he uses his public activity as a way of increasing his prestige as a private doctor. The health authority only benefits from the physician’s dual practice when it is interested in ensuring a very accurate treatment for the patient. Our analysis provides a theoretical framework in which some actual policies implemented to regulate physicians’ dual practice can be addressed.

Payment of Lunch Allowance: A Case Study of the Uganda Health Service

This paper presents a case study of an intervention (the lunch allowance scheme) instituted in Uganda to improve retention and motivation of health workers. The study traces the scheme’s evolution, assesses its impact on the brain drain of health professionals (medical doctors and nurses), and identifies difficulties encountered and lessons learned. [abstract]

Economic Incentive in Community Nursing: Attraction, Rejection or Indifference?

Using incentives and disincentives to direct individuals’ energies and behaviour is common practice in all work settings, of which the health care system is no exception. The range and influence of economic incentives/disincentives affecting community nurses are the subject of this discussion paper. The tendency by nurses to disregard, and in many cases, deny a direct impact of economic incentives/disincentives on their motivation and professional conduct is of particular interest. The goal of recent research was to determine if economic incentives/disincentives in community nursing exist, whether they have a perceivable impact and in what areas.