Trial of an allied health workload allocation model

Simmons, Nadine C. and Kuys, Suzanne S. (2011) Trial of an allied health workload allocation model. Australian Health Review, 35 2: 168-175. doi:10.1071/AH09860

Author Simmons, Nadine C.
Kuys, Suzanne S.
Title Trial of an allied health workload allocation model
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0156-5788
Publication date 2011-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH09860
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 168
End page 175
Total pages 8
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher CSIRO
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Allied health (AH) managers need to be able to quantify workloads to effectively manage the increasing demands on the health system. Workload allocation models provide a means of monitoring, evaluating and determining manageable workloads. This allows managers to ensure equitable distribution of duties and maximise the existing AH workforce output, which will lead to more efficient health service delivery and better patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to develop and trial an AH workload allocation model incorporating the National Allied Health Casemix Committee Health Activity Classification. A workload allocation model was developed that included a staff workload mapping tool, data analysis spreadsheet and guidelines for calculating procedure times. The model was trialled across three AH professions (occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech pathology), in two hospital districts, and across inpatient, outpatient and community settings. A total of 30 participants completed the trial. Staff and managers completed a post-trial survey to provide feedback on the workload allocation model. Survey results indicated that staff and managers found the model useful for evaluating and quantifying workloads. Managers believed the model would be useful for preparing business cases and benchmarking staff workloads. Recommendations for improvements to the workload mapping tool were also identified.

What is known about the topic? Workload allocation models have been identified as a valuable means of evaluating and managing AH workloads. Current models do not account for all tasks undertaken by AH clinicians or are applicable to only a specific AH discipline. There is a paucity of workload allocation models suitable for use across AH disciplines.

What does this paper add? This paper demonstrates the effectiveness of an AH workload allocation model that incorporates the NAHCC Health Activity Classification that can be used across AH disciplines and work sites.

What are the implications for practitioners? This new workload allocation model provides AH managers with a mapping tool that provides a high level of detail of non-patient activities, and guidelines for calculating procedure times that can be used to effectively manage staff workloads, benchmark existing services and plan for new services. Critical evaluation of staff workloads will allow managers to maximise allied health human resources and hence provide better patient outcomes.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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