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

 

Health Worker Engagement and Facility Performance in Delivering HIV Care in Tanzania

With an increasing number of people living with HIV linked to long-term treatment, a productive health workforce is essential to provide quality care. Engaged health workers are more productive and provide higher quality care. This study...

Our “Best 9” stories in 2017

Vicky Ramirez

Consultant, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Looking back, 2017 was a great year for us at ASSIST. In 2017, we were featured in USAID’s Exposure; we collaborated with a number of partners to publish ICHC Blog Series, which was cross-posted on The Huffington Post; and we ran a blog series in honor of Health Worker Week. After our resources page, our blog was the most visited page on our website. In case you missed some of these highlights, we’ve put together our “Best 9” stories. These posts illustrate the stories behind the great work employed by our country teams, partners, and individuals. Let us know which story you loved the most!

USAID ASSIST Project Annual Performance Monitoring Report FY17

University Research Co., LLC (URC) and its partners have completed the fifth year of implementation of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project. This report is the tenth Semi-Annual Performance...

Pilot study of quality of care training and knowledge in Sub-Saharan African medical schools

This study examines the capacity of medical schools in sub-Saharan African countries to teach about the concepts of quality of care and include these concepts in their curriculum. While 45% of the schools surveyed are teaching on at least...

Pre-service Quality Improvement Module Outline

The purpose of this module is for students in health care professions to attain knowledge, attitudes, and competencies required to continuously improve health care once they are in active service. At the end of this course, the learner...

Integration of Improvement in Pre-service Health Worker Training Curriculum: Lessons Learned

ASSIST has been participating in the ongoing Kenya Ministry of Health’s pre-service curriculum development committee, under the Quality Management Technical Working Group (QM-TWG), providing technical assistance to develop a quality...

Improving community health worker performance and productivity: Findings from USAID-supported studies in Swaziland and Uganda

Community health workers (CHWs) play an essential role in HIV prevention, care, and treatment by improving linkages between those that need care and those that can provide it and by supporting retention in care and self-management for...

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