Finding and applying the evidence

It is important to evaluate and select evidence based solutions to workforce planning.

Let’s look at the following case study to help us evaluate information in order to make decisions about workforce planning. The following is a case study of health workforce planning in an imaginary state, Sapphire State. The case study is told in a geographic map of the Sapphire State.

The Case Study - Sapphire State

Sapphire State has three major cities spread across a large geographical area:

APPLYING THE EVIDENCE: The Case Study - Sapphire State. Sapphire State has three major cities spread across a large geographical area. In River City and Funsville smaller hospitals are located and provide a comprehensive service for general medical, surgical, paediatric and obstetrics and gynaecology supported by primary health and aged care services. The rural town areas outside the main cities (Mountainview and Worksville) have smaller hospitals or multi-purpose centres providing a range of services to the populations they serve. Locations outside of the major cities and in rural settings have difficulty in attracting and the retaining general practitioners, medical specialists and allied health staff. The main city Sunkist, has a large hospital that provides high level acute specialist hospital services. Management reform is also necessary in Sapphire State so that health services can be provided for the growing ageing population and to deal with the burden of chronic disease. It is clear that a 'business as usual' approach to building and managing the health workforce will not be sustainable over the next 10 years. With a limited budget, it is evident that a co-ordinated and evidence-based approach to workforce planning is needed. The plan will ensure that the right health care workers are available with the right skills in the right places to deliver a sustainable, safe and effective health care system. The Sapphire State health planning department has identified strategies to manage the challenges and ensure that new approaches to sustain and grow the necessary health services and to build a skilled health workforce are in place.

Management reform is also necessary in Sapphire State. The population is ageing and there has been a rise in chronic diseases. Reform is needed to provide services for this growing ageing population and to deal with the burden of chronic disease. It is clear that a ‘business as usual’ approach to building and managing the health workforce will not be sustainable over the next 10 years.

With a limited budget for health, it is evident that a co-ordinated and evidence-based approach to workforce planning is needed. The plan will ensure that the right health care workers are available with the right skills in the right places to deliver a sustainable, safe and effective health care system. The Sapphire State health planning department has identified strategies to manage the challenges and ensure that new approaches to sustain and grow the necessary health services and to build a skilled health workforce are in place.

We will look at these strategies in Week 2.

Your task

Reflecting on what you have learned so far, and with an understanding of the future vision of Sapphire State health that alternatives to ‘business as usual’ are required, describe 2 ways that hybrid managers might contribute to health workforce and health reform solutions.

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This article is from the free online course:

Future-proofing the Health Workforce

Griffith University