Griffiths Medal 2017 Health Systems

Health Systems

Winners:
Mihail Mihaylov, KU Leuven, Belgium
Pieter Smet, KU Leuven, Belgium
Wim Van Den Noortgate, KU Leuven, Belgium
Greet Vanden Berghe, KU Leuven, Belgium

Given For:
The Griffiths Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of health systems published in Health Systems within the relevant period (2015-2016).

Citation:
Facilitating the transition from manual to automated nurse rostering
Health Systems 5, 120-131

Nurses form a major part of any hospital workforce and deploying them efficiently is a key managerial task. Producing good rosters for nursing staff is a crucial but challenging part of achieving their efficient deployment. The paper takes an innovative systemic approach to real world rostering by considering some crucial but often overlooked wider factors that inhibit the implementation of automated rostering systems: the resource and other costs of change from manual rostering. It presents an ingenious analytical approach to reduce these transition barriers, by automating key elements of the change process itself. The paper describes the development and use of an analytical method that can infer, from past schedules, priorities for meeting different objectives of rosters and thus avoid the need for their manual input, which forms a significant part of the effort in a changeover to automated rostering. The method was developed in close liaison with senior hospital nurses and has been tested and validated by them, and can produce results that are both consistent with their objectives and superior to those from manual rostering. In keeping with its focus on implementation challenges, the method is being implemented in a hospital setting and has been incorporated into commercial rostering software. The paper is clearly written and is accessible to non-specialists.

The winning article is currently free to access until March, 2019.