Clinical care ratios: quantifying clinical versus non-clinical care for allied health professionals

Hearn, Cherie, Govier, Adam and Semciw, Adam Ivan (2017) Clinical care ratios: quantifying clinical versus non-clinical care for allied health professionals. Australian Health Review, 41 3: 321-326. doi:10.1071/AH16017

Author Hearn, Cherie
Govier, Adam
Semciw, Adam Ivan
Title Clinical care ratios: quantifying clinical versus non-clinical care for allied health professionals
Journal name Australian Health Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0159-5709
Publication date 2017-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AH16017
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 41
Issue 3
Start page 321
End page 326
Total pages 6
Place of publication Clayton, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Clinical care ratios (CCRs) are a useful tool that can be used to quantify and benchmark the clinical and non-clinical workloads of allied health professionals. The purpose of this study was to determine if CCRs are influenced by level of seniority, type of role or profession. This will provide meaningful information for allied health service managers to better manage service demand and capacity.

Method: Data was collected from 2036 allied health professionals from five professions across 11 Australian tertiary hospitals. Mean (95% confidence intervals) CCRs were calculated according to profession, seniority and role type. A two-way ANOVA was performed to assess the association of CCRs (dependent variable) with seniority level and profession (independent variables). Post-hoc pairwise comparisons identified where significant main or interaction effects occurred (α≤0.05).

Results: Significant main effects for seniority level and profession were identified (P<0.05), but there was no interaction effect. Post-hoc comparisons revealed significant differences between all tier combinations (P<0.05) with more senior staff having the lowest CCRs.

Conclusion: The direct and non-direct clinical components of the allied health professional's workload can be quantified and benchmarked with like roles and according to seniority. The benchmarked CCRs for predominantly clinical roles will enable managers to compare and evaluate like roles and modify non-direct clinical components according to seniority and discipline.

What is known about the topic? CCRs are a useful tool to quantify, monitor and compare workloads of allied health professionals. They are thought to change with increased seniority of roles. The CCRs for different allied health professional roles has yet to be defined in the literature.

What does this paper add? CCRs decrease as level of seniority increases, indicating higher seniority increases non-clinical time. CCRs differ across professions, suggesting that benchmarking with CCRs must be profession specific.

What are the implications for practitioners? The direct and non-direct clinical components of a workload can be quantified, defined and benchmarked with like roles to ensure cost-effective and optimal service delivery and patient outcomes.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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