Personnel planning in general practices: Development and testing of a skill mix analysis method

J. von Eitzen-Strassel, H.J.M. Vrijhoef, E.W.C.C. Derckx, D.H. de Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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General practitioners (GPs) have to match patients’ demands with the mix of their practice staff’s competencies. However, apart from some general principles, there is little guidance on recruiting new staff. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a method which would allow GPs or practice managers to perform a skill mix analysis which would take into account developments in local demand.
The method was designed with a stepwise method using different research strategies. Literature review took place to detect available methods that map, predict, or measure patients’ demands or needs and to fill the contents of the skill mix analysis. Focus groups and expert interviews were held both during the design process and in the first test stage. Both secondary data analysis as primary data collection took place to fill the contents of the tool. A pilot study in general practices tested the feasibility of the newly-developed method.
The skill mix analysis contains both a quantitative and a qualitative part which includes the following sections: i) an analysis of the current and the expected future demand; ii) an analysis of the need to adjust skill mix; iii) an overview about the functions of different provider disciplines; and iv) a system to assess the input, assumed or otherwise, of each function concerning the ‘catching up demand’, the connection between supply and demand, and the introduction of new opportunities. The skill mix analysis shows an acceptable face and content validity and appears feasible in practice.
The skill mix analysis method can be used as a basis to analyze and match, systematically, the demand for care and the supply of practice staff.
Keywords: Demand, General practice, Skill mix, Supply, Validity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-
JournalHuman Resources for Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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