The widely read medical journal The Lancet had published a research report on recommendations to improve the performance of health workers.
Poor health-worker performance is a widespread problem for low and middle-income countries. In the current issue of The Lancet researchers had reviewed the existing performances and made recommendations for how high-quality health-worker performance can be achieved.
Millions of children and adults die prematurely in low and middle-income countries each year, even though many interventions exist that can prevent such deaths. Health workers are essential for delivering these life-saving interventions. However, performance is often inadequate.
Researchers had proposed that an international collaborative research agenda should be developed to generate knowledge about the determinants of performance and about the effectiveness of strategies to improve performance. Furthermore, they recommend that ministries of health and international organizations should actively help translate research findings into action to improve health-worker performance, and thereby improve health.
Their recommendations come as a result of having reviewed existing research into health workers in low and middle-income countries. The findings of the review suggest that dissemination of written guidelines is often ineffective in eliciting change in practice.
Supervision and audit with feedback is generally effective, and multifaceted interventions might be more effective than single interventions. According to the research scientists, very few interventions have been evaluated with rigorous cost-effectiveness trials, and such studies are urgently needed to guide policy.
Source: The Lancet, Newswise