Registrars' and senior registrars' perceptions of their audit activities.
OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the level and quality of audit activity among junior doctors, their attitudes to audit, and their views on its educational value. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire survey in April 1991. SETTING: Yorkshire region. SUBJECTS: All 610 registrars and senior registrars recorded as employed in the region. MAIN MEASURES: Grade, current specialty, details of last audit participated in and its educational usefulness, and attitude to audit. RESULTS: 255 (41.8%) completed questionnaires were returned, 148 from registrars and 101 from senior registrars; grade was not indicated in six. 27 respondents were in general medicine, 26 in general surgery, 30 in anaesthetics, and 36 in psychiatry; other specialties had fewer than 20 respondents. About a fifth (54) of respondents, most in psychiatry (19/36, 53%), had not participated in audit. Among the 201 who had participated, the audit topics covered most components of care (access to services (47, 23%), communication (51, 25%), and appropriateness (158, 79%) and effectiveness (157, 78%) of treatment); only 84 (41%) audits set standards, and in only half of them had the doctors been involved in doing so. Doctors responsible for gathering data and those responsible for collating and reporting data found their experience significantly less useful than those who were not. 172 (86%) respondents considered that audit had helped patient care. Suggested improvements to the educational value of audit were mostly for better methods but included requests for less "witch hunting," better feedback, more training, more time, and more participation by consultants. CONCLUSIONS: The educational value of audit to junior doctors could be improved by better audit methods, guidance, and feedback. (+info)
Strengthening health management: experience of district teams in The Gambia.
The lack of basic management skills of district-level health teams is often described as a major constraint to implementation of primary health care in developing countries. To improve district-level management in The Gambia, a 'management strengthening' project was implemented in two out of the three health regions. Against a background of health sector decentralization policy the project had two main objectives: to improve health team management skills and to improve resources management under specially-trained administrators. The project used a problem-solving and participatory strategy for planning and implementing activities. The project resulted in some improvements in the management of district-level health services, particularly in the quality of team planning and coordination, and the management of the limited available resources. However, the project demonstrated that though health teams had better management skills and systems, their effectiveness was often limited by the policy and practice of the national level government and donor agencies. In particular, they were limited by the degree to which decision making was centralized on issues of staffing, budgeting, and planning, and by the extent to which national level managers have lacked skills and motivation for management change. They were also limited by the extent to which donor-supported programmes were still based on standardized models which did not allow for varying and complex environments at district level. These are common problems despite growing advocacy for more devolution of decision making to the local level. (+info)
Health insurance and productivity.
AIM: To provide a conceptual understanding of the basic relationship between health insurance and overall economic productivity, and to look at the human development index as a proxy for the quality of human capital. METHODS: Economic data and data related to human development in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, including Croatia, were compared to the European Union (EU) average. Data were selected out of databases provided by the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations. Income and growth rates were related to the EU averages. The human development index was used to compare the level of the average achievements in the longevity of life, knowledge, and quality of living in CEE countries. RESULTS: Relative to the EU-average, human development is lagging behind in CEE countries. Considering the world as a benchmark regarding human development, 8 out of 13 CEE countries exceed the world. However, all CEE countries have 3-28% lower human development than the industrialized countries. CONCLUSIONS: The specific challenge for transition countries is how to adopt strategies to translate economic progress into health and social gains through reliable institutions, among them social health insurance bodies. The institutions and the provision of social health insurance are particularly challenged at a turning point when transition in terms of macroeconomic stabilization, along with the consolidated organization and financing of social and health insurance schemes, is accommodated to a business cycle-driven market economy. (+info)
Human resource development: the management, planning and training of health personnel.
The morale of health personnel is fast becoming the major factor affecting both the sustainability and the quality of health care world-wide. Low morale mirrors problems ranging from declining balance of payments allocation to GNP, and a lack of support for the health system from the very top down to the rigid application of national pay, grading and career structures, and the stress of not being able to do the job properly. While many of these and other problems have been voiced again and again in the press and in the academic literature, much of the work on health manpower development has focused on the planning and production of personnel. This has been with the aim of producing specific categories of better-trained health workers with relevant qualifications, resulting in a heavy emphasis on a quantitative output. In this paper it is argued that the management of health personnel, the qualitative aspect of staff development, has been relatively neglected. Unless and until the management of human resource development receives the attention it needs, seeds of discontent, disillusion and dissatisfaction will ultimately lead to national health services losing their competitiveness as employers. The sustainability and quality of health programmes will then be in even greater jeopardy than they are at present. The planning, production and management components of health manpower development have developed haphazardly as verticle activities. A new term such as 'human resource development; the management of health personnel' might help ensure the concept of an integrated process contingent on economic, political, organizational and other important circumstances. (+info)
Rethinking human resources: an agenda for the millennium.
Health care reforms require fundamental changes to the ways in which the health workforce is planned, managed and developed within national health systems. While issues involved in such transition remain complex, their importance and the need to address them in a proactive manner are vital for reforms to achieve their key policy objectives. For a start, the analysis of human resources in the context of health sector appraisal studies will need to improve in depth, scope and quality by incorporating functional, institutional and policy dimensions. (+info)
A competency model for general practice: implications for selection, training, and development.
BACKGROUND: The role of the general practitioner (GP) has changed significantly over the past decade. This problem is compounded by growing concern over postgraduate attrition rates from medicine, with current estimates as high as 19%. AIM: To define a comprehensive model of the competencies required for the job role of GP. METHOD: Three independent studies were conducted to define GP competencies including (1) critical incidents focus groups with GPs, (2) behavioural coding of GP-patient consultations, and (3) critical incidents interviews with patients. Study 1 was conducted with GPs (n = 35) from the Trent region. Study 2 involved observation of GP-patient consultations (n = 33 consultations), and Study 3 was conducted with patients (n = 21), all from a Midlands-based medical practice. RESULTS: The data collected from the three studies provided strong evidence for a competency model comprising 11 categories with a summary of the associated behavioural descriptions. Example competencies included empathy and sensitivity, communication skills, clinical knowledge and expertise, conceptual thinking, and coping with pressure. CONCLUSIONS: Triangulation of results was achieved from three independent studies. The competencies derived imply that a greater account of personal attributes needs to be considered in recruitment and training, rather than focusing on academic and clinical competency alone. The model could be employed for future research in design of selection techniques for the role of GP. (+info)
Changes in learning-resource use across physicians' learning episodes.
INTRODUCTION: This study explores the numbers of learning resources physicians use at each stage in self-directed learning episodes addressing general problems. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A survey of a statewide random sample of doctors estimated the number of resources used at each stage in solving various general problems. RESULTS: The 50% response rate for faculty allowed generalization of findings to the population of these physicians; the rate for nonfaculty physicians was too low to allow generalization. Faculty findings showed (1) broader resource use in learning about diseases than diagnosis or therapeutics (2) comparable numbers of resources used in deciding whether to take on the learning problem and learning the required skills and knowledge, (3) greater numbers of resources selected to evaluate the problem and to learn the required skills and knowledge than to gain experience with the newly learned skills and knowledge, and (4) support for assertions that doctors value learning resources that are accessible, applicable, familiar, and time effective. DISCUSSION: The findings were interpreted in light of theory describing physicians' self-directed learning episodes, and implications are presented for physicians-in-training, physicians, and medical librarians. (+info)
The changing face of dental education: the impact of PBL.
The past decade has seen increasing demands for reform of dental education that would produce a graduate better equipped to work in the rapidly changing world of the twenty-first century. Among the most notable curriculum changes implemented in dental schools is a move toward Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL, in some form, has been a feature of medical education for several decades, but has only recently been introduced into dental schools. This paper discusses the rationale for the introduction of a PBL pedagogy into dental education, the modalities of PBL being introduced, and the implications of the introduction of PBL into dental schools. Matters related to implementation, faculty development, admissions, and assessment are addressed. Observations derived from a parallel-track dental PBL curriculum at the University of Southern California (USC) are presented and discussed. This program conforms to the Barrows (1998) concept of "authentic PBL" in that the program has no scheduled lectures and maintains a PBL pedagogy for all four years of the curriculum. The USC dental students working in the PBL curriculum have attained a high level of achievement on U.S. National Dental Boards (Part I) examinations, significantly superior to their peers working in a traditional lecture-based curriculum. (+info)