The implementation process of the Workload Indicators Staffing Need (WISN) method by WHO in determining midwifery staff requirements in Greek Hospitals
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Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece
Department of Nursing, University of Peloponnese, Sparti, Greece
Department of Economics, University of Piraeus, Athens, Greece
Department of Public Administration, Panteion University, Athens, Greece
Publish date: 2019-01-23
Submission date: 2018-09-03
Final revision date: 2018-12-04
Acceptance date: 2018-12-06
Eur J Midwifery 2019;3(January):1
One of the greatest challenges in the healthcare field is planning the health workforce under limited financial resources while being fully capable of responding to an affordable, fair and efficient healthcare system. This study aimed to demonstrate the implementation process of the health workforce planning tool ‘Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs’ introduced by the World Health Organization.

A descriptive and cross-sectional study was carried out at four (two public and two private) hospitals in Greece, to estimate midwifery staff requirements at ward level during 2015–2016, using the WISN software tool. Focus group discussions, structured interviews and annual service statistics from the hospitals’ records were used to obtain data.

Results for both private hospitals showed a shortage in the number of midwives. However, after combining the interpretation of the results, as indicated by the WISN methodology and the structured interviews, current and required staffing is in balance in both. On the other hand, both public hospitals indicate a surplus of midwives (1.83 and 1.33 ratios for the General hospitals in Korinthos and Kalamata, respectively).

This study demonstrated the implementation process of the WISN methodology through its application in midwifery staff at four hospitals in Greece and confirmed its usefulness in estimating staffing requirements. The application of the WISN methodology should be viewed as a vital tool in assessing overstaffing and understaffing through the estimation of workload pressure among different categories of health staff, thus providing the basis for effective health workforce redistribution in Greece.

Fotini Gialama   
Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, Corinth, Greece
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