Efficiency of work in healthcare
Type of work, profession characterize the work activity for a long time. However, there is also a need for indicators that can serve as indicators of the quantity and quality of workers’ work in a relatively short period: day, week, month.
At first glance, it seems that measuring the quantity of work is not a big problem. In fact, it is not. Especially difficult is the problem of measuring, defining the quantity of labor in the field of spiritual and informational activity, in the sector of non-material services, which mainly refers to health care.
Due to the difficulty of directly measuring the amount of labor, spent by health care workers in the process of providing services to patients, instead of a relatively accurate physical measurement of labor costs, it is necessary to resort to an approximate assessment of the amount of labor based on different indicators.
For all the complexity of direct measurement and even approximate evaluation of labor costs in health care, one cannot do without establishing the amount of labor taking into account its specifics in the industry. The labour economy is an integral part of the health economy, while quantity and quality play a crucial role in the labour economy. Labour is the main production factor in medicine.
If in other branches of economy, especially in branches of material production, live labour gives in to mechanisation and automation, is transferred on shoulders of cars, the equipment it is possible to do in public health services in much less degree in connection with character of work of medical workers, special object of their work.
In other words, substitution of live labor of medical workers by so called vegetable labor, i.e. substitution of human labor by the use of modern equipment, has very limited possibilities in health care.
Determining the amount of necessary and expended labor in health care is required to establish the needs of treatment and prevention institutions in the labor force, in employees.
The determination of the quantity of labour makes it possible to judge the degree of labour load, measures for the use of labour opportunities and the intensity of labour efforts. Together, all of these factors encourage the development and improvement of methods for measuring, evaluating and calculating the amount of labour.
Theoretically, it is possible to determine the amount of labour spent by a person at work by the consumption of his or her energy. But science has not developed a reliable way to measure the expenditure of physical and mental energy at work.
Among the common applied approaches to the determination of the amount of labor consumed there is a method based on the judgment of the labor energy consumption by the quantity of achieved results. This approach is based on the assumption that there is a direct proportional relationship between labor inputs and quantitative results: the more output and services are provided, the more labor is spent on this.
For practical realization of such approach in medicine it is necessary, first of all, to divide the activity of medical personnel into a set of works, services, procedures, each of which represents a unit of account, in relation to which the level of labour input is established.
Such units can be, for example, the reception of one patient by a doctor, diagnosis of disease, analysis, taking into account, of course, a number of additional features characterizing the type of disease, the profile of the doctor, etc. Secondly, for each service unit, a rate of labour costs per service unit (work, service) should be established.
The norm is understood as a measure taken, legitimized by normative acts, established typical, average amount of labour required to perform a given service unit.
More often than not, the norm of labor (standard labor costs) is established in the units of time (hours, minutes) required to implement a service unit (single service). Setting standards of labour input for the performance of various types of single work and services is called in the economy the standardization of labour.
Along with the establishment of norms of labour costs and generalized norms, called norms, the health care uses norms of workload of workers (for example, in the form of the number of units of service per shift or patients, belonging to one doctor), norms of the number of different categories of medical and auxiliary personnel of health care institutions and their structural subdivisions.
Staff numbers standards are also referred to as staff standards, since their application determines the number of staff in an institution and the staff schedule in the form of a list that determines the number of staff in an institution by individual posts and categories.
Under the known (established) norms of labour input per unit of service (work, service), the amount of labour that an employee is entitled to spend on performance of a given set of similar service units.