Changing staffing strategies

Staffing the ICU usually follows a traditionalapproach: (a) defining the professional groups to appoint; (b) calculating the number of professionals in each group; (c) defining the professional qualifications of each (sub)group. In this wayappropriate staffing is determined by defining the professionalinputs to the department.

However, this staffing strategy isin the process of change as greater importance is attributed to themanagement of human factors associated with individual performance.These human factors can be classified as follows.

1. Professional career in terms of professional development andfuture and salary prospects.

2. Organization commitment in terms ofidentification with the objectives of the ICU and the hospital. Arecent European study suggests that organization commitment is avariable with a significant explanatory power v/s-a-v/smortality in the ICU when controlling for severity of illness.

3. Identification with the culture of the organization which isdefined as the collective mental programming of its members. It isimportant that this culture shifts from the traditionalprocess-oriented culture (bureaucracy based) to a results-orientedculture (effort based). In the European study mentioned above, theresults-oriented culture appeared to have a beneficial effect on theperformance of the ICU.

Therefore, when planning an ICU, itis important to bear in mind that staffing the unit should be a 'win-win operation', contributing to the achievement of the stated objectives of both the unit and the staff members. Instead of inputs (e.g. case mix and number of patients to admit), the objectives of the ICU should be the measurable outputs (given the inputs) such as mortality and percentage consumption of manpower (final outputs) and length of stay, occupancy rate, average annual number of admissions per ICU bed, and costs (intermediate outputs). Thus the following factors should be taken into consideration when staffing the ICU.

1. Definitions:

a. objectives of the organization;

b. staffing strategies enabling these objectives to be achieved;

c. analysis of the working process, resulting in the definition of intermediate processes and measurable outputs;

d. staffing plan, including detailed descriptions of the jobs and tasks to be performed.

2. Planning the results, i.e. the strategies required to achieve the stated final and intermediate outputs.

3. Staff evaluation: a clear, regular, and effective process of evaluating every staff member must be in place to ensure appropriate monitoring of both individual performance relative to the objectives of the organization and adequate management of the human factors mentioned above.

Therefore changing the strategies for staffing the ICU implies that these strategies should focus on the description and evaluation of the performance and professional output of the staff rather than on the professional input to the department.

Healthy Fat Loss For A Longer Life

Healthy Fat Loss For A Longer Life

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