HealthcarePapers 9(2) May 2009 : 6-19.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2009.20774
The healthcare system continues to evolve, requiring innovation to promote patient-centred, fiscally responsible healthcare delivery. This evolution includes changes to the skills and competencies required of the health human resources (HHR), both regulated and unregulated, who are central supports to healthcare delivery. This has become a priority agenda item at the international, national, provincial, regional and local levels. This paper describes the system factors that drive the emergence of HHR skill and competency needs, and explores the roles of various institutions in the identification of and response to HHR needs. Educational institutions play an important role in responding to emerging HHR needs. Their actual response to HHR skill and competency needs will ultimately depend on the risk posed to the organizations of either addressing, or not addressing, these needs. These decisions are complex and are balanced against strategic, operational and educational risks, benefits and realities within each given educational institution. Educational institutions - through their linkages with the workplace, industry, professional organizations and government - have a unique view and understanding of many facets of the complexity of HHR planning. This paper proposes that educational institutions play a pivotal role as levers in a more coordinated response to emerging HHR needs and, as such, should be intimately involved in comprehensive HHR planning.
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