Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Developing metrics for hospital medical workforce allocation

Elizabeth A Shannon, B Anne Brand, Kevin M Ratcliffe and Bruce K Tranter

Australian Health Review 31(3) 411 - 421
Published: 2007


Public hospitals deliver a broad range of specialist treatments to patients, with public demand for hospital services almost always outstripping supply. Health department and hospital managers prioritise requests for additional resources, such as medical staffing, across the full spectrum of services delivered. Without a clear and equitable basis of workload comparison across medical specialties, this decision-making process can be controversial and internally divisive. This paper outlines the development of a metric to guide the allocation of hospital medical staff. It suggests that a valid comparison of workload can be gained from the consideration of the number of inpatients (weighted for case complexity) and the number of outpatient presentations, as seen by each full-time hospital medical practitioner per annum. While this supports a ?common sense? understanding of hospital medical activity, it also reflects limitations in the quality and quantity of data available. The replication and testing of this methodology in other jurisdictions is encouraged.

© AHHA 2007

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