The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations
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The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations

Critical Role of Human Resource Management in the Cost, Quality and Productivity Equation

Edited by Peter Spurgeon, Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

Health systems in the western world face increasingly intense pressure to contain or reduce costs, while countries such as China and India move towards universal coverage. The contributors illustrate that radical gains in efficiency and innovative practice are required internationally in health care systems. They argue that the high proportion of health care system costs invested in staffing place the human resource function at the forefront of meeting this challenge. Sustained system change and productivity gains, more effective management of staff and work climate are essential elements of reform and are all covered in this book.
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Chapter 13: Workforce engagement and organisational performance

Astrid M. Richardsen and Ronald J. Burke


Individuals rate health care an important priority in many countries and it is likely to be even more important as the population ages. Governments devote considerable sums of money to health care to meet these needs, health care being the largest single budget item in most countries. Nurses occupy a central role in the delivery of health care in all countries, though countries have different health care systems and methods of payment options. Unfortunately research on the nursing experience carried out in some countries has indicated high levels of job dissatisfaction, burnout and intention to leave the profession (Aiken et al., 2001). Many countries are facing nursing shortages, worsened by the fact that richer nations are luring nurses away from poorer ones, and that the nursing profession has lost popularity among younger women and men as a career option. The health care system has also undergone dramatic changes over the past decade stemming from the greater use of new technologies, off-shoring some services to developing countries, advances in medical knowledge, an aging population, more informed and critical users of the health care system and efforts by governments to further control health care expenditures.

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