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A new standardization model for physician staffing at hospitals

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to develop a model for physician staffing requirements that could be generally applied to any hospital department, taking into account factors such as occupancy level, professional absences, allowances, physician work duties and patient service levels. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The ability to generalize the model was tested via its implementation in five hospital departments considered to represent a cross-section of all hospital requirements: internal medicine, surgery, orthopedics children's (pediatrics), and gynecology. The work is based on a combination of a survey, work sampling and direct time study, conducted by professional observers with a high degree of frequency and over a relatively long period of time. Findings ‐ The model is based on the concept of "required work capacity" of physicians. The model makes it possible to account for such factors as yearly capacity, level of desired service, increments for work conditions, roster duties and necessary absences. Practical implications ‐ The findings indicate that the departments studied required a significant increase in their physician staffing. In these departments the present manpower situation stands at 80–90 percent of the necessary staffing based on the average annual occupancy. The new staffing requirements model can be implemented in various departments. Originality/value ‐ This paper is an original effort to develop a model for physician staffing requirements at hospitals based on a survey, work-study and direct time study. This contributes to past research that focused on the development of staffing requirements models, e.g. for nurse or family physicians. The paper presents an original model for physician staffing requirements at hospitals.

Keywords: Customer service management; Doctors; Hospitals; Israel; Manpower planning; Modelling

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17410401011089463

Publication date: November 2, 2010

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