Rural / Northern Health Research

Critical Appraisal of Health Human Resources Forecasting Tools Suitable for the Northeast Local Health Integration Network
J.C. Hogenbirk, P.E. Timony, and R.W. Pong

Health human resource (HHR) planning requires dependable and meaningful data on existing health service personnel and reliable estimates of future surplus or deficits for key personnel. This is particularly challenging for Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) that have to work with a wide array of agencies and locations. The purpose of this project was to critically appraise available HHR forecasting models in regard to their suitability for use in the NE LHIN. Nine models were identified through a search of the literature and after consultation with experts. These models vary based on data needs, theoretical underpinnings as well as the spatial and temporal scales of the forecast. Results of this study were used by the NE LHIN's Health Human Resources Plan Steering Committee to identify and pilot test one model to address human resources needs for a 3-12 month time span among 5 health care organizations (hospital, long-term care facility, etc.). The NE LHIN plans to pilot-test a second model. CRaNHR's research study emerged in response to a practical research need to address HHR planning across the NE LHIN so as to consolidate recruitment strategies, facilitate inter-agency cooperation and eventually permit cross-appointment of personnel. All of this research underwrites an effort to improve service delivery by ensuring that the right people are in the right place at the right time to provide health and social care. In addition, successful HHR planning should help to realize system efficiencies in combining recruitment efforts and facilitating retention of qualified health and social care providers across the NE LHIN.

(funded by the Northeast Local Health Integration Network)

[Completed in 2010]

(Names in bold denote CRaNHR investigators and research staff.)