In an attempt to build an appropriate and impeccably skilled health care team within a health care organization, training and development of the employees stands out as a critical endeavor for the organization. This in particular is important especially upon recognizing the fact that some of the regions across the globe people do not have access to basic health care leave alone special health care services. As the International Training and Education Centre for Health Care (2011) notes, “in places where clinics and workers do exist, many health care teams do not have access to training programs to build their skills” (para.6). A well-established healthcare training program requires partnership with leadership groups elegantly established.
Why training and education in health care?
Training and education in health care plays a very vital role, as it provides employees with resources, tools, support and opportunities requisite for the identification of the employee’s career objectives and goals. This proves crucial for the development of the employee’s skills in health care provision: something that people deem appropriate for them to pursue their skills to their full potential. As priory mentioned, training is conducted through leadership groups. Such leadership groups according to the International Training and Education Centre for Health Care (2011) provide the much deserved “leadership and development training for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, and give students opportunities to further their studies in health” (para.4). Training serves as a continued process resulting to personal development and growth of health care providers within an organization. Therefore, by incorporating training and education initiatives in the health care sector, a dedication for continuous supply of experts in the fields of healthcare delivery, biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceutical among others remains assured in an attempt to meet the ever-rising demand for such professionals globally.
Importance of measuring competencies in healthcare
Competence entangles skills, traits, abilities and knowledge gained through and during pre-service education, experience and in-service education and training in the industry of healthcare. Kelly, Campbell and Murray (1999) comment that “Competence is a major determinant of provider performance and is represented by conformance with various clinical, non-clinical, and interpersonal standards” (p.447). For the determination of the capacity of any health worker to ensure provision of quality health care service that is up to standards, it is thus important to measure the competency levels of the health worker in question. Health care providers “…could possess the appropriate knowledge and skill, but might not demonstrate this due to individual factors such as abilities, traits, goals, values and inertia or external factors such as unavailability of drugs, equipment, and organizational support” (Kelly, Campbell & Murray, 1999, p.449). However, in absence of such hindrances periodic measurement of the health workers competencies are crucial to unveil not only whether the health worker posses the competencies but also whether he/she utilizes them in his/her work on daily basis.
The need to conform to the demands of the healthcare reforms compels the healthcare organizations to measure the competency of its staff. According Kak, Burkhalter and Cooper (2001), campaigning for healthcare reforms results from “the increasing complexities of healthcare and changing market conditions which have forced health care policy makers to promote the assessment of initial competence of students and new graduates and the competence of experienced and certified practitioners” (p.3). The need to promote cute performance of an organization, management of risks, ethics and liabilities, recertification and certification of health care providers, measurement of outcomes of trainings and new services planning among other reasons are some of other importance of measuring competencies in health care.
Process for tracking and evaluating training effectiveness
There stand numerous practices, which people consider as the best practices when it comes to the process of tracking and evaluating training effectiveness. However, golden standard fails to exist since the most feasible and effective approach is largely dependent on the existing situation. The effectiveness of training can be measured through a variety of methods, which according to Kak, Burkhalter and Cooper (2001) includes “written tests, computerized tests, records of performance, simulations with anatomic models, job samples and supervisory performance appraisals” (p.9). Resources availability for a particular method of assessing the effectiveness of training and competency of health workers play a big role in the success of tracking and evaluating process.
Every method of tracking and evaluating the effectiveness of training has its pitfalls and strengths. Written and Computerized tests prove effective in tracking, traits, and abilities acquired during and after trainings as well as evaluating knowledge. Unfortunately, both of them do not assess skills demanding actual performance of physical actions (Kak, Burkhalter and Cooper, 2001, p.10). Performance records on the other hand, seem quite effective in the evaluation of the competency of health care providers upon training without his or her awareness of the evaluation process. However, this approach excludes vital information regarding the actual performance. According to Kak, Burkhalter and Cooper (2001), one can assess the “Anatomic models limit both the types of competencies upon training and the realism of the patient-provider interaction while Job samples and job simulations limit the circumstances and illnesses (or needs) and require both observation and evaluation” (p.11). Awareness of the evaluation process may serve to increase attention in health care resulting to an improved performance thus creating an environment of fear, which has an opposite impact.
International Training and Education Centre for Health Care. (2011). Systems Strengthening Health Care, Training and Education. Web.
Kak, N., Burkhalter, B., & Cooper, M. (2001). Measuring the Competency of Healthcare Providers. Operations Research, 2(1), pp. 1-15.
Kelly, M., Campbell, L., & Murray, T. (1999). Clinical Skills Assessment. British Journal of General Practice, 49(3), pp. 447–450.