Patient-centred staffing

Aligning needs and resources for better outcomes.

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Clare  Naden
By Clare Naden
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Medical
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Never before have our healthcare systems and their capacities been under so much scrutiny. The world has been brutally exposed to the need for adequate healthcare resources in terms of beds, equipment and of course medical personnel. Yet studies have shown that patient-centred staffing, whereby healthcare personnel are matched with the needs of the patient, results in better clinical outcomes. Recognizing the challenges this entails, a new standard for healthcare management has been developed to help.

ISO 22956, Healthcare organization management – Requirements for patient-centred staffing, aims to help healthcare organizations best consider and provide for workforce capabilities and resources in relation to patient needs.

The standard provides a number of innovative staffing models and methodologies aimed at maximizing patient safety and improving cost efficiencies. It considers every aspect of personnel management, including workforce planning, internal and external resource allocation, forecasting, regulatory requirements, capacity in emergency situations and more.

ISO 22956 also considers the needs of individual patients and focuses on a wide range of areas such as optimizing patient safety, managing risks, ensuring continuity of care, quality of the care, organizational culture and leadership, and evidence-based decision making.

Dr Veronica Muzquiz Edwards, Project Leader of the group of experts that developed the standard, said healthcare organizations that have a better understanding of what influences their work environment can use that knowledge to improve satisfaction amongst both patients and staff.

“Taking a standardized approach using ISO 22956 will provide the transparency that allows for better resource allocation, thereby reducing the chance of burnout and fatigue and improving job satisfaction and staff competences,” she said.

“What’s more, it allows them to match skills to patient needs more effectively, which also improves clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.”

ISO 22956 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 304, Healthcare organization management, whose secretariat is held by ANSI, ISO’s member for the USA. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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