Health Workforce Development

Health Workforce training with model baby

Crucial for efforts to provide universal health coverage is the strengthening of the existing health workforce – maximizing the talents that are currently available and building mechanisms to ensure that productivity, performance, and engagement will continue to improve as these resources grow and evolve.  In order to obtain desired results, it is necessary to both explore and develop the evidence to enhance our understanding of the factors that influence health worker outputs and clinical outcomes.  This is accomplished through innovative research that is then used to develop practical tools and guidance that is applied to analyze and strengthen health workforce planning, management, and development.  Applying improvement approaches to engage health workers in providing quality care and to empower teams to deliver better services to more users is an integral part of systems strengthening. 

In many countries the performance of health workers is constrained by factors such as regular stock-out of medicines, shortage of supplies, high levels of staff turnover, unclear job expectations, and limited feedback and supervision. Growing evidence suggests that improving the productivity and engagement of health workers and addressing performance factors within the health workforce contribute to improved care outcomes.  Improvement methods can help to:

  • Clarify roles and expectations, assess work distribution and rationalize tasks among team members, and introduce measurement of performance
  • Develop and test incentives, rewards and consequences that reinforce strong performance and discourage poor performance, from verbal recognition to career path and bonus mechanisms
  • Strengthen performance feedback mechanisms among members of the care delivery team, supervisors, and community members
  • Enhance the work environment, including both the physical environment (including safety and the availability of supplies) and the non-physical environment (including management practices that build confidence and security, mechanisms for coordination and communication, and protection from violence or harassment), to enable health workers to perform at their best
  • Build the competencies needed to implement tasks and perform at expected levels

 

Tips for Design and Facilitation of Learning Sessions in the Context of Collaborative Improvement of Zika-related Services

This guide was prepared to support country teams of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project in designing and conducting effective learning sessions as part of quality improvement collaboratives for...

Improving TB Treatment Response Monitoring at Nine TB Diagnostic Treatment Units: Tested Changes and Guidance from Uganda

In Uganda, ASSIST worked with the MOH and implementing partners to build the capacity of health workers to be able to screen, diagnose, and manage TB to improve TB care services using the continuous quality improvement (QI) model as well...

Apoyo psicosocial para las embarazadas y las familias afectadas por el síndrome congénito asociado al Zika

Esta guía "Apoyo psicosocial para mujeres embarazadas y familias afectadas por el síndrome congénito asociado con ZIKA", se elaboró en el marco del Proyecto ASSIST-Zika con el fin de proporcionar pautas a los proveedores de salud donde se...

Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health-Quality Talks Podcast

Quality Talks is the podcast of the Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Quality Talks are stories of healthcare professionals who are experienced in running and managing quality of care initiatives...

Marcos de apoyo psicoemocional en el contexto del Zika

APOYO PSICOSOCIAL: Consejeria en crisis en el contexto del Zika Este folleto psicosocial proporciona una guía para brindar apoyo a través de acciones y lenguaje corporal. Siguiendo el acrónimo "P.O.D.E.R." el folleto proporciona...

High-quality health systems in the Sustainable Development Goals Era

Health care in middle and low income countries has greatly improved in the past several decades, but changing health needs, growing public expectations and new health goals are rasing the bar for health systems to produce better health...

The USAID ASSIST Project’s approach to improving health care in low- and middle-income countries

The objective of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project is to improve the quality and outcomes of health care and other services by enabling host country providers and managers to apply the science of...

Pages