Human Resources Management: Health Services Essay

Pages: 10 (3113 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management


" (BTEC Higher National -- H2, nd, p.2) The third stated strategy for quality achievement is that of establish quality systems including "ISO 9000 series, Investors in People, charter Mark, Business Excellence Model, European Quality Mark and other specialist standards." (BTEC Higher National -- H2, nd, p.2)The work of Kabene, et al. (2006) examines the health care system from a global perspective and the importance of human resources management (HRM) in the initiative to improve patient health care outcomes and delivery of health care services. Kabene et al. states that there is an increased level of attention focused on human resources management and that specifically "human resources are one of three principle health system inputs, with the other two major inputs being physical capital and consumables." (2006) Human resources in the areas of health care is reported as being able to defined as "the different kinds of clinical and non-clinical staff responsible for public and individual health intervention." (Kabene, et al., 2006) According to Kabene et al. (2006) the performance and the benefits that the system can deliver are greatly dependent upon "the knowledge, skills, and motivation of those individuals responsible for delivering health services." (Kabene et al., 2006) The balance between the human and physical resources is reported as critical for maintaining the "appropriate mix between the different types of health promoters and caregivers to ensure the system's success." (Kabene, et al., 2006) Kabene et al. states that it is critically important that there is a differentiation in the manner that human capital and physical capital is handled by HR in the health care organization and state that the relationship between HR and health care "is very complex." (2006) Hornby and Forte (nd) state in the work entitled "Human Resources Indicators and Health Service Performance" that public expectations combined with increases in financial pressures are making a requirement that health services "adopt new approaches to the management of their resources, particularly human resources." Fundamental implications for management of HR in health care organizations include: (1) whether the objectives are being achieved; (2) whether the service provided is as effective as possible; (3) whether the processes through which the service is delivered are efficient; (4) whether service delivery is improving or worsening over time; and (5) how the organization compares with others in its efficiency and effectiveness. (Hornby and Forte, nd) Decentralization of service management is reported as a measure that is "observable and which serves to reflect the change in attitude and is increasingly the direction in which many health service systems are moving." (Hornby and Forte, nd) It is reported however, that in a decentralized system there is "the potential danger of loss of control, particularly with an inadequate information base." (Hornby and Forte, nd) HR management decisions are reported as being "constructed from generally available data and describe constituents of organizational activity, namely inputs, processes, and outputs." (Hornby and Forte, nd) This data is used by managers in "monitoring and as a basis for decision making." (Hornby and Forte, nd) The indicators are stated to make the literal provision of the "indication of the relative state of key determinants of efficiency and effectiveness in comparison to norms of organizational activity. These norms may be derived from:

(1) external comparisons with other similar organizations;

(2) internal comparisons with the previous performance of the organization; and (3) comparisons with some pre-determined standard. (Hornby and Forte, nd)

Prior to establishing a Human Resources Indicator system there is a requirement for preliminary work for establishing a range of indicators that are "appropriate to national circumstances and needs" and which would focus on:

(1) clarifying the primary purposes for the use of indicators and identifying the desired outcomes;

(2) specifying the set of indicators to be used and define data requirements;

(3) setting out the process for gathering data and constructing and distributing indicators across the country; and (4) deciding how the indicators would be used by management to increase the organization's efficiency and effectiveness. (Hornby and Forte, nd)

Conditions that are reported as necessary for the development of a management indicator system that is successful are the following stated conditions:

(1) support from the central authority;

(2) a logical framework of indicators;

(3) a focus on relative rather than absolute performance;

(4) an ability to make cross-organizational comparisons;

(5) an efficient presentation and distribution system; and (6) good training and education support for users. (Hornby and Forte, nd)

General steps in setting up an indicator project include establishing the reasons that the indicators are being used and the objectives that must be achieved in addition to an initial appraisal of the existing administration and managerial framework "to conform lines of accountability responsibility." (Hornby and Forte, nd) Also required is that managerial levels be established at which the indicators are to be used and a description of the required indicators. Also required is the identification of existing and required sources of data and the establishment of data collecting and processing procedures. There must be the development of an indicator distribution network, which includes the timescale for data collecting and processing, and the development of the indicator sets and how this "fits into any existing schedules for disseminating information or for local planning/budgeting/review cycles if they exist. It is also necessary to consider the medium by which the indicators are to be distribute, who they are to be given to, and what actions are required by recipients." (Hornby and Forte, nd) Finally training and education in the use of indicators must take place. This makes a requirement of explaining how and why indicators are being introduced and how the indicators should be interpreted. There must also be the development of a reward system for the use of the indicators. (Hornby and Forte, nd, paraphrased) The work of Preker, et al. (nd) states that financial resources alone "are insufficient for individuals to benefit from the opportunities presented by modern health care systems." The reported challenge is bringing together the many inputs and doing so at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place in order to achieve the maximum gains in health care service delivery. Buchan (2004) addresses the difference that a good HRM makes. Richard and Thompson (1999) and MacDuffie (1995) note that these are three broad perspectives on the ways that the business performance is contributed to by the HR practice and state those as follows:

(1) Best practice -- a set of HR practices that can be identified, that, when implemented, will improve business performance;

(2) Contingency -- business performance will be improved when the best 'fit' between business strategy and HR practices;

(3) Bundles -- specific bundles of HR practices can be identified that will generate higher performance in organizations; the most effective composition of these 'bundles' will vary in different organizational contexts. (in Buchan, 2004)

Summary and Conclusion

This work in writing has examined performance management specific to the health care system and even more specifically in the area of human resources performance management. As noted in the literature reviewed in this study a performance-based management system must first be of the nature that has an emphasis on effective measurement of performance and upon the performance management system's worth. This study has additionally noted that leadership is critical in the implementation of a performance management system for HR in the health care setting. It has been found during the research conducted in this study that the performance management system cannot simply make provision of a compilation of data but instead must make provision of specific usable information and should be a positive rather than punitive performance management system. There should be a buy-in of all stakeholders so that the system can realize its potential success. The performance management system measures the organization and its employees level of conforming to the requirements and efficiency in addition to quality, timeliness, productivity, and safety. Performance measurement benefits the organization in its goal- and standard-setting and problem detection. The performance management system is appropriate for use in any health care setting to measure the performance of employees and to ensure that the organization sticks to and fulfills the goals that have been set out for the organization and its employees. Additionally reviewed in this work are performance indicators and how to implement performance indicators in the HR management strategy of the health care organization and the importance of human capital overriding the importance assigned to physical capital within the organizational objectives.


Bach, Stephen Dr. (2000) HR and New Approaches to Public Sector Management: Improving HRM Capacity. Workshop on Global Health Workforce Strategy Annecy, France, 9-12 December 2000. Retrieved from:

Buchan, James (2004) What Difference does 'Good' HRM Make? Human Resources for Health 2004. Retrieved from:

Establishing an Integrated Performance Measurement System (2001) The Performance-Based Management Handbook. Volume… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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