HSE recruitment, resources, needs analysis, parity, fairness, transparency, data backed decisions
OpenApp were approached to help an existing recruitment process identify and align communities most in need with available mental health professionals & determine the most equitable hiring locations. This was the first step in an attempt to balance the provision of Ireland's mental health services across the country.
Historically, new mental health staff were hired on a national basis and assigned to their nearby Community Healthcare Organization (or CHOs). While additional resources were welcome, this approach ignored community need in regards to the right services provided by the right people. What was needed was a data-backed method that combined the characteristics of the unique communities, considered scenarios of how communities may change and the availability of staff. This method offered the possibility to better identify the communities most in need and facilitate planning decisions.
Taking a custom software development approach offered the opportunity to fulfill this need. With the most critical mental health needs clearer, the HSE could better allocate MH services and better support communities based on their individual requirements.
- Facilitate evidence-based planning decisions for Health Services.
- Identifying the population served by each centre.
- Use Affluence and Deprivation scoring of those areas to identify requirements.
- Establish the likely needs of those based on available service provision data.
- Comparing areas to each other based on staff allocations.
- Sort those areas with least access or provision of staff on a population basis.
Study Outcome - Stats & Stories
As a result of the project objectives, it was identified that, based on all of the data points available to use that the area, the most in need and least served when compared to the national staffing levels, was the south east. An increase in recruitment was targeted for those areas and appointments were made based on location. The custom solution assists with understanding the resource allocation of each area compared to others based on criteria that are data backed and repeatable. This data-driven approach ensures those with the highest need have access to the services they require on a fair and equal basis. This application is used today across the HSE to assist in recruitment drives, or similar, prior to advertising of new roles.
OpenApp identified the available data sets to support the research. Custom boundary definitions (ISAs) were determined by historic amalgamation of Electoral Divisions (EDs) and subsequent division of health service boundaries. Haase Pratschke Index was applied on a small area basis and built up again to custom boundaries. To consider Ireland's changing population, and thus the changing needs for mental health services, OpenApp:
- developed scenarios for modeling migration and fertility patterns by location.
- validated and populate the models with support from the Central Statistic Office.
- utilised custom staffing levels uploaded by client.
- combined population, community need and existing mental health staffing levels.
All of the above were incorporated into a secure self-service application where HSE staff can continue to provide data to support transparent resourcing.