Task-Shifting – An Alternative Survival Strategy for Health-Care Organizations
International Journal of Scientific Research and Modern Education (IJSRME), Vol. 2(2), p. 34-48, 2017
15 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 25, 2017
There are many types of strategies to be followed by managers and leaders depending on the type of problems, objectives, circumstances, privileges, preferences, advantages, constraints and opportunities. Alternative strategy and survival strategy are two important strategies which are to be used in the strategic management of organizations depending on the constraints in availability of required resources and the intensity of problems in hand. These strategies can be effectively used in the healthcare sector to manage the acute shortage of professionally qualified healthcare workers in developing countries. Despite many trained healthcare professionals our healthcare system is struggling to provide optimum services to the patients. This shortage is further increased by a high burden of infectious diseases, emigration of trained professionals, difficult working conditions, and low motivation by country governments. Even though, the permanent solution to this problem is to create more professional doctors by increasing training courses, training facilities through modifying government policies and enhancing resources to do so, such actions and resultant solutions take a long time to realize in practice. Hence a quick optimum solution is needed for alternative survival to address the critical shortage of trained healthcare professionals. Out of many alternatives, the best alternative for healthcare executives in any hospital or primary health centre is the strategic decision of thinking and implementing an alternative survival management strategy called the strategy of task-shifting. Task-shifting and sharing is a management strategy in which the clinical care responsibilities are transferred from more specialized professionals to less specialized health workers or to parallel area professionals through proper delegation. In this paper, we have discussed the concept of Task-shifting in the healthcare sector as an alternative survival strategy used in strategic management subject. By means of reviewing the papers published in the concept of Task-shifting in the healthcare sectors in different countries between 2008 to 2017, and studying systematic review papers published during 2012 to 2017, we have analysed this strategy and concluded that it is acceptable and working as an alternative survival strategy in many countries. We have also discussed a basic model of Task-shifting by taking all stakeholders into account, skills required for Task-shifting, possible Task-shifting methods among different professionals in healthcare management, and other alternative solutions to solve the scarcity of qualified medical professionals. The opportunities and challenges of this alternative survival strategy are also discussed. Finally, based on the analysis of various systematic reviews on Task-shifting some suggestions are proposed while using Task-shifting as an alternative survival strategy.
Keywords: Task-Shifting, Healthcare System, Patient Care, Alternative Strategy, Alternative Survival Strategy, Task-Shifting as Working Strategy, Role of Paramedical Professionals in Healthcare
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