The Skill Gapping Process in the Health Care System Essay Sample

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Many healthcare organizations identify the need to improve the effectiveness of their employees in the task played in the organizations.  Frequently, an employee may find it very difficult to adapt to specific tasks required to be performed in the organizations.  These specific tasks require specific skills, and the entire process of enabling the healthcare worker to adopt such skills is known as ‘skill gapping’.  The corporate sector has felt the need to adopt certain training programs in their Human Resource welfare programs.  The training programs try to bring about better performance along with a greater amount of contribution from each staff.  Each staff member in healthcare organizations would be having specific needs for training in a specific area.

            Before recruiting a staff member to an organization, the recruiting agency has to employ certain tasks (such as screening tests, submission of resumes, etc) to identify the present level of skill of each potential employee (supply).  They have to also assess the skills required for performing a particular task in an organization (demand).  Usually, there is a lag between the supply and the demand, and this gap can be potentially filled up through skill gapping.  From the range of job applicants available, the organizations selects those who it thinks is best to met the objectives of the organization.  Once the specific lag in the skills has been identified, training professionals play their role in meeting this deficiency of skills.  Each employee’s training program should be highly individualized and address specific needs.

            In a healthcare organization, the goals and aims of the organization have to be identified and suitable methods have to be selected to enable achievement of these aims and objectives.  As it is often too difficult to meet the specific needs of the clients, it is all the more tough for a healthcare organization to achieve its aims and objectives.  Besides, several other difficulties exist in a healthcare organization such as greater responsibilities, shortages of healthcare personnel, etc.  Hence, it is very important to assess the employee skill levels by conducting appropriate performance appraisals.  These instruments have to be used in a proper fashion or else they could be harmful for the organization.

These help to identify both, the level of human motivation and the behavior of the staff members within the organization.  Frequently, it is very difficult to evaluate the performance of the staff embers in the organization.  Each appraisal form given to the staff member should be highly specific and address precise issues.  The staff members may have to complete a check list or fill up a rating scale.  Following this, the evaluators have to give ratings for each and every staff member, and identify the problem each member is facing.  Once the evaluation process is over, the evaluators should discuss the both positive and negative issues the employee is facing in the organization.

            Before conducting a performance appraisal, several issues need to be studied in the organization.  The need for improvement should exist, and the cost of conducting such an exercise should have realistic chances of achieving useful results.  Many employees may not like such exercises to be conducted as they feel that their potential weaknesses would be exposed or privacy matters would be invaded.

Hence it is necessary that the purpose of conducting such a program is known to the staff.  There is also the potential that such tests could be misused, and in such cases the evaluators should be told to limit their actions.  The tests can be utilized to measure several criteria such as physical fitness, mental status, intelligence quotient, achievement levels, inventories, medical status, checking licenses and certificates, reference checks, resume verifications, assessment tests, substance abuse tests, etc.

            In a healthcare organization, the knowledge and skills of the personnel need to be updated frequently, to ensure that they can work with the latest technology and solve the current problems of the patients.  Frequently new skills need to be acquired.  After a thorough evaluation of the skills and knowledge possessed by the staff members, techniques are employed to improve them to a standard to meet the level of skill and knowledge required by the organization to achieve its objectives.

Several strategies can be employed such as distance education methods, corporate education programs, hands on courses, multimedia techniques, workshops, etc.  The environment existing during such programs should ensure a greater amount of interactions.  The staff members should adopt a problem-based learning technique in which theoretical knowledge could be applied in a systematic manner to solve practical problems.  The staff members should be motivated to attend such programs.

            In the healthcare sector, the personnel often do not apply evidence-based practices because of several issues such as peer pressures, patient choice, considering technology as obsolete, insufficient knowledge, etc.  Many computerized devices are available to help the healthcare workers make decisions with regard to patient management.  However, personnel may not give much importance to output generated by the support devices.  Hence, there is a need to improve the behavior of the users.  The mindset of the users needs to be changed in order to improve the practice skills and outcome of patient management.  However, it is essential that the decisions taken are on track with individual patient matters.

References:

Chandra, A. I2006). “Employee Evaluation Strategies for Healthcare Organizations-A General Guide.” Hospital Topics, 84(2), 34-39.

Jones, M. L. (2000). “Use your head when identifying skills gaps.” Workforce, 79(3), 118-122.

Liu, J. (2006). “Decision tools in health care: focus on the problem, not the solution.” BMC, 6(4). http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6947/6/4

Selkirk, J. (2005). Multimedia Learning Environments for Health Care Staff. Retrieved February 26, 2007, from US Ask Website: http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/selkirk/index.htm

US Department of Labor (1999). Assessment Tools and Their Uses. Retrieved February 26, 2007, from HR Guide Website: http://www.hr-guide.com/data/G363.htm

US Department of Labor (1999). Issues and Concerns with Assessment. Retrieved February 26, 2007, from HR Guide Website: http://www.hr-guide.com/data/G367.htm

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