Modified Workload Indicators of Staffing Need to Estimate Human Resources at a Health Facility

Document Type : Letter to the editor


Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Human resources planning is known as the most essential limitation in achieving health care quality in the world. The main component of health human resource planning is to determine the required staff. There are several methods for determining required staff in a health facility. In this regard, one of the most widely used methods is the workload indicator of staffing need (WISN) method. In 1998, the World Health Organization announced the WISN as a human resource planning tool for the rational distribution of staff at health centers at all levels. It has been used in some countries since then. There is a recommendation on the division of the workload components. According to the modified workload indicator of staffing need (MWISN), there are four kinds of workload component. The first one is common main activity accomplished by all employees of the job category and for which periodic statistics are regularly collected. Uncommon main activity is the second one performed by a limited number of employees of the job category and for which periodic statistics are regularly collected. Moreover, support activities performed by all employees of the job category but for which periodic statistics are not regularly collected. The last one is additional activities performed only by some employees of the job category and for which periodic statistics are not regularly collected. Following the new division of the workload components, the final formula for the estimation of required workforce requirements is modified. Therefore, the MWISN can increase the accuracy and precision of the measurement of the workload and determine the number of workforces required.


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