Practical Implication of Job Analysis in the Veterans Home Administration The use of job analysis is an effective tool in the realm of human resource management. Job analysis is defined as “a logical process to determine (1) purpose-the reason for the job, (2) essential functions-the job duties which are critical or fundamental to the performance of the job, (3) job setting-the work station and conditions where the essential functions are performed, and (4) job qualifications-the minimal skills an individual must possess to perform the essential functions.A job analysis describes the job, not the person who fills it” (Department of Labor, 2004).
Using functional job analysis, the Veterans Home Administration conducted a study of medical staffing and found an overlap of jobs and duties among its direct care providers. It also found the administrative support staff was being underutilized in their jobs as well. The study was conducted on six primary care locations within the VHA system. Surveys were completed by participants and noted that among doctors, physician assistants, nurses and LVNs, they were completing 60 to 97 percent of the same tasks.Also with the bulk of the work being performed by these occupational fields, there was question to whether the clerks and support staff were being underutilized.
Having several different occupational groups completing the same task caused decreased efficiency and increased the likely hood of medical errors. However it was noted that among some staff such as nurse practitioners, work was comparable to physicians and having better outcomes in some cases (Best, et al, 2006). It is clear that a redesign in clinical tasks and practices are needed to be made to optimize the efficiency of the medical staff.
A more functional design was needed.One which would be based on clinical tasks being performed based on skill sets and competencies. This would help eliminate the overlap of tasks being performed. Using job analysis would have proven to be a successful tool in preventing the overlap of duties among these health care professionals. Job analysis is one of the building blocks of defining a job description.
It helps to define specifics tasks, such as starting IVs, dressing changes, and many others. This would allow the proper occupational group to perform the task based on skills sets and competencies. Job analysis would define what materials or tools may be needed for these tasks.It would define, based of skill level and the complexity of the task, which occupational group would need to perform specifics tasks. Finally, job analysis will provide the information needed to form job descriptions for each occupational group. This information would have provided each occupational group’s specific tasks required to prevent overlap. Job analysis would have provided the information needed for job descriptions of each occupational group.
In the case of the Veterans Health Administration, a job description for each occupational group would have better defined what was being asked of each person.Each person would know exactly what is expected of them based on their level of education, skills and competencies. It would have prevented overlaps such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and doctors from performing the same or repeated tasks on patients.
It would have also defined the roles of the underutilized support staff. This would allow them to perform to their skills level and competency as well. Job descriptions itself would have made an impact on the organization and efficiency of the staff. In summary, the Veterans Health Administration’s problem of job overlap was a big problem.The repetitive tasks opened them medical errors which could have led to the death of a patient. Job analysis would have been a good tool to define the specific tasks and functions needed to provide health care to its patients.
Job analysis also would have led to good job descriptions for its healthcare staff. A job description would have defined what was expected of each occupational group and would have had an impact on preventing the overlap of the job tasks which were being performed. References . (2004, October). Job Analysis: An Important Employment Tool [Fact Sheet].Retrieved October 23, 2009, from www.
dol. gov Web site: http://www. dol. gov/odep/pubs/fact/analysis.
htm Best, R. , Hysong, S. , Pugh, J. , and Ghosh, S.
(2006). Task Overlap Among Primary Care Team Members: An Opportunity for System Redesign? Journal of Healthcare Management, 51(5), 295, 13 pgs. Retrieved October 30, 2009, from proquest. umi. com Web site: http://proquest. umi.