Human Resources for Health
About: Human Resources for Health is an academic journal published by BioMed Central. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Health services research & Health administration. It has an ISSN identifier of 1478-4491. It is also open access. Over the lifetime, 1276 publications have been published receiving 47438 citations. The journal is also known as: HRH.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: The study shows that health workers overall are strongly guided by their professional conscience and similar aspects related to professional ethos, and confirms the starting hypothesis that non-financial incentives and HRM tools play an important role with respect to increasing motivation of health professionals.
Abstract: 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. The study design entailed semi-structured qualitative interviews with doctors and nurses from public, private and NGO facilities in rural areas. The selection of health professionals was the result of a layered sampling process. In Benin 62 interviews with health professionals were carried out; in Kenya 37 were obtained. Results from individual interviews were backed up with information from focus group discussions. For further contextual information, interviews with civil servants in the Ministry of Health and at the district level were carried out. The interview material was coded and quantitative data was analysed with SPSS software. The study shows that health workers overall are strongly guided by their professional conscience and similar aspects related to professional ethos. In fact, many health workers are demotivated and frustrated precisely because they are unable to satisfy their professional conscience and impeded in pursuing their vocation due to lack of means and supplies and due to inadequate or inappropriately applied human resources management (HRM) tools. The paper also indicates that even some HRM tools that are applied may adversely affect the motivation of health workers. The findings confirm the starting hypothesis that non-financial incentives and HRM tools play an important role with respect to increasing motivation of health professionals. Adequate HRM tools can uphold and strengthen the professional ethos of doctors and nurses. This entails acknowledging their professionalism and addressing professional goals such as recognition, career development and further qualification. It must be the aim of human resources management/quality management (HRM/QM) to develop the work environment so that health workers are enabled to meet their personal and the organizational goals.
TL;DR: Task shifting is an effective strategy for addressing shortages of HRH in HIV treatment and care and offers high-quality, cost-effective care to more patients than a physician-centered model.
Abstract: Background Shortages of human resources for health (HRH) have severely hampered the rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. Current rollout models are hospital- and physician-intensive. Task shifting, or delegating tasks performed by physicians to staff with lower-level qualifications, is considered a means of expanding rollout in resource-poor or HRH-limited settings.
TL;DR: The objective of this paper is to offer a better understanding of the determinants of geographical imbalances in the distribution of health personnel, and to identify and assess the strategies developed to correct them.
Abstract: Access to good-quality health services is crucial for the improvement of many health outcomes, such as those targeted by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by the international community in 2000. The health-related MDGs cannot be achieved if vulnerable populations do not have access to skilled personnel and to other necessary inputs. This paper focuses on the geographical dimension of access and on one of its critical determinants: the availability of qualified personnel. The objective of this paper is to offer a better understanding of the determinants of geographical imbalances in the distribution of health personnel, and to identify and assess the strategies developed to correct them. It reviews the recent literature on determinants, barriers and the effects of strategies that attempted to correct geographical imbalances, with a focus on empirical studies from developing and developed countries. An analysis of determinants of success and failures of strategies implemented, and a summary of lessons learnt, is included.
TL;DR: This study draws on two sources of knowledge to identify the attributes of a good interdisciplinary team, a published systematic review of the literature on interciplinary team work, and the perceptions of over 253 staff from 11 community rehabilitation and intermediate care teams to propose competency statements that an effective interdisciplinaryteam functioning at a high level should demonstrate.
Abstract: Interdisciplinary team work is increasingly prevalent, supported by policies and practices that bring care closer to the patient and challenge traditional professional boundaries. To date, there has been a great deal of emphasis on the processes of team work, and in some cases, outcomes. This study draws on two sources of knowledge to identify the attributes of a good interdisciplinary team; a published systematic review of the literature on interdisciplinary team work, and the perceptions of over 253 staff from 11 community rehabilitation and intermediate care teams in the UK. These data sources were merged using qualitative content analysis to arrive at a framework that identifies characteristics and proposes ten competencies that support effective interdisciplinary team work. Ten characteristics underpinning effective interdisciplinary team work were identified: positive leadership and management attributes; communication strategies and structures; personal rewards, training and development; appropriate resources and procedures; appropriate skill mix; supportive team climate; individual characteristics that support interdisciplinary team work; clarity of vision; quality and outcomes of care; and respecting and understanding roles. We propose competency statements that an effective interdisciplinary team functioning at a high level should demonstrate.
TL;DR: Task shifting is a promising policy option to increase the productive efficiency of the delivery of health care services, increasing the number of services provided at a given quality and cost.
Abstract: Health workforce needs-based shortages and skill mix imbalances are significant health workforce challenges. Task shifting, defined as delegating tasks to existing or new cadres with either less training or narrowly tailored training, is a potential strategy to address these challenges. This study uses an economics perspective to review the skill mix literature to determine its strength of the evidence, identify gaps in the evidence, and to propose a research agenda. Studies primarily from low-income countries published between 2006 and September 2010 were found using Google Scholar and PubMed. Keywords included terms such as skill mix, task shifting, assistant medical officer, assistant clinical officer, assistant nurse, assistant pharmacist, and community health worker. Thirty-one studies were selected to analyze, based on the strength of evidence. First, the studies provide substantial evidence that task shifting is an important policy option to help alleviate workforce shortages and skill mix imbalances. For example, in Mozambique, surgically trained assistant medical officers, who were the key providers in district hospitals, produced similar patient outcomes at a significantly lower cost as compared to physician obstetricians and gynaecologists. Second, although task shifting is promising, it can present its own challenges. For example, a study analyzing task shifting in HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa noted quality and safety concerns, professional and institutional resistance, and the need to sustain motivation and performance. Third, most task shifting studies compare the results of the new cadre with the traditional cadre. Studies also need to compare the new cadre's results to the results from the care that would have been provided--if any care at all--had task shifting not occurred. Task shifting is a promising policy option to increase the productive efficiency of the delivery of health care services, increasing the number of services provided at a given quality and cost. Future studies should examine the development of new professional cadres that evolve with technology and country-specific labour markets. To strengthen the evidence, skill mix changes need to be evaluated with a rigorous research design to estimate the effect on patient health outcomes, quality of care, and costs.