The influence of workload levels on performance in a rural hospital
British Journal of Health Care Management
Human Resource Planning and Monitoring, Human Resources Directorate, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana; Department of Nursing, Faculty of Science, Valley View University, Oyibi, Accra, Ghana
The importance of workload on staff performance has been widely acknowledged, but opinions are divided as to what level of workload is desirable for optimum staff performance. Previously, researchers have attempted to demonstrate the impact of workload on the individual staff, organisation and the consumer. However, gaps and uncertainties in the literature also confirm the need for further investigation of the perceived workload levels of staff, the factors influencing workload levels and the contextual relationship between workload and staff performance. A quantitative descriptive survey was undertaken to elicit the perceived workload levels of health workers in the Donkorkrom Presbyterian Hospital, Ghana, and how it is perceived to impact on staff performance. One hundred clinical and non-clinical staff were selected for the study. The study found that workload level of health workers was perceived as moderate (2.91 ± 0.541 on a five-point Likert scale). However, nurses/midwives were perceived to have the highest workload, followed by paramedics, support staff and doctors. Work interruptions, procedures and processes involved in treating patients, as well as facing work-related uncertainties, were identified as determinants of perceived workload among health workers. Results show that 75% of health workers perceived moderate workload assignment would increase their performance. It is recommended that health institutions review and improve organisational procedures and processes to ensure smooth workflow and eliminate or minimise work interruptions that unnecessarily compound workload and undermines performance. © MA Healthcare Limited 2014.
Ghana; hospital; human; human experiment; Likert scale; midwife; nurse; Presbyterian; quantitative study; staff; uncertainty; workflow; workload