In Hospitals, the Cure Is Age Management
POLITICAL SCIENCES |

In Hospitals, the Cure Is Age Management

REMODELING TASKS AND SHIFTS OF HEALTH PERSONNEL BASED ON AGE ALSO HELPS THE ORGANIZATION FUNCTION BETTER. THIS IS EXPLAINED IN A RESEARCH PAPER BY MARCO SARTIRANA AND COLLEAGUES

The enhancement of organizational well-being in public health organizations could improve their functioning and economic performance. The results of the Cergas Bocconi research collected in the book by Carlo De Pietro, Guglielmo Pacileo, Agnese Pirazzoli and Marco Sartirana Le inidoneità e le limitazioni lavorative del personale SSN. Dimensioni del fenomeno e proposte (Egea) show how relevant the issue is. Almost 12% of the employees of the Italian National Health Service have total or partial limitations at work, peaking at 20% in some professional categories and especially in the most advanced age groups.
 
“There is wide range of physical and mental impairments. They go from the inability to lift patients to the ‘burn-out’ that occurs in stressful situations”, says professor Sartirana, research fellow at Cergas. These constraints have repercussions on workers’ health, organizational functioning, public spending, health care quality. Public health organizations should identify and manage them before they get out of control. They could implement an information system to monitor the phenomenon, identify critical areas and to discuss prevention strategies; do investments in technology, such as patient lifts, that can help workers in the most difficult tasks; create help desks; build teams that integrate all professionals involved (occupational doctors, prevention managers, directorates, etc).
 
“The problem is closely linked to the aging of NHS staff. Organizations must therefore learn how to implement age management through new HR management processes and flexible working hours for senior employees. They should reshape activities such as reducing night shifts, relocate aging employees in positions with a lighter workload, give value to experience and skills”. The research project has now entered its second stage. It aims to identify health care policies that Italian regions can implement to support local health centers and authorities.

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by Claudio Todesco

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