History of the Organization -- General Practice Alliance South Gippsland (GPASG) is a division of General Practice Alliance Australia. It is one of 110 divisions that are tasked to help support identified health needs and services in a given area. GPASG has a division office in Inverloch, and serves of 5,000 people in a 41,000 square kilometer area. Essentially, the organization proves service and information to health care professionals, accreditation support, immunization support, professional development, peer support, advocacy and information (GPASG, 2011).
Mission, Vision -- SPASG's vision is to be a catalyst for the people of the South Gippsland area and to look towards 2015 to achieve the best health outcomes possible. Their mission is to lead the development of innovations in primary care solutions that specifically maintain and improve community-based health care by: 1) building and supporting more general practices; 2) integrating health care services across the entire region; 3) enhancing community and individual knowledge about health and health practices; 4) identifying and responding to local health concerns; 5) aggressively reporting and collecting the collection and reporting of appropriate levels of personal health care information; 6) assisting in the collaboration of health care professionals and interested parties across regions; 7) ensuring the stability of GPASG over the long-term (GPASG, 2011).
Staff and Types Overview: Staff is core and based primarily on organization and administrative functions designed to actively assist medical professionals at the local level -- recruitment, assistance, and a Board to oversee strategic direction and ensure compliance to Australian law and governmental requirements; staff hovers between 7-12, with 112 health care members as part of the network.
Challenges and Opportunities -- Greatest challenges are in aligning the organization that includes health disciplines, is sensitive to local health care needs, but can exist on the funding it receives and membership dues. While operations increased, the organization still posted a bit over $20,000 loss under a period of change and uncertainty in and environment that needs healthcare advocacy, but does not always have the funds or population base with which to support it (GPASG).
The Role of HR and Functioning of GPASG- Human resource management, whether specifically titled or not, has been a part of any organization's management since groups banded together for specific tasks. Ancient armies, projects, and even educational and religious institutions all had concerns about their ability to bring in the appropriate person for the positions at hand. Formally, Human Resource Management in the contemporary world is both the tactical and strategic manner in which an organization manages the human portion of its resources, both collectively and individually, and how management of those individual resources contributes to the overall positive objects of the business (Swanson & Holton 2001).
Part 1- The HR Organization -- GPA Human Resource Organization is designed to focus the principles of equal opportunity, individual respect, human potential development, and ethical behavior to ensure the safest possible work environment that allows. Specifically, HR within GPA is designed to strategically and tactically effect the way the organization performs by recruiting specifically people with the training necessary to not only perform the job functions in HR, but to fit into the overall organization with the type of energy and standards that support the goals of the organization (Policy: Human Resources Management 2010).
Part 2 -- People and Positions in HR -- Because of the nature of the organization, it is designed to service as an administrative link (which includes HR) to members. Links between members and administrative training and programs assist in filling appropriate positions and increasing the networking alliances of members in the area (Open Positions 2011).
Part 3- Education/Training of HR -- Within the entire rubric of the organization, almost all the educational and training presentations are geared, at least in some manner, to the educational professes of not just clinical medicine, but Human Resource development. For instance, below are recent events by month and their focus.
October 2011 -- Emergency Medicine techniques in the area, Evening with Professor Paul Myles
November 2011 -- Asthma and Respiratory Medicine, Enhancing Refugee Health
December 2011 -- GP Anesthetists Small Group; Balancing the benefits and needs of antipsychotic therapy.
While not specifically HR oriented, the meetings were designed to be broad-based enough. If we look at the broader base of the spectrum of organizational management, this strategy is incredibly effective in the manner in which it reaches more people than traditional methods (GPA 2011).
Part 4 -- Policies and Procedures in HR -- In terms of compliance with the national and local legislation regarding health care in combination with the strategic planning of the organization, GPA wants to ensure that it remains at the forefront of certain policy standards. There are both strategic and tactical reasons for this that are essential in the goals and mission of GPA. First, in order for its strategic planning process to have any long-term efficacy, the HR focus must align carefully for any state or federal scrutiny. In addition, tactically, the organization is only as good as its membership, and for the membership to remain robust, it must thoroughly work within the needed framework of the law- BUT, more importantly, within appropriate resource allocation for members. This will happen by:
"fostering and supporting an environment of effective performance and personal development for all employees, which includes fair and equitable treatment and merit-based decision-making;
facilitating an environment of mutual respect and equal opportunity for all employees;
ensuring all employees and job candidates are treated equally according to their skills, qualifications, abilities and aptitudes;
ensuring all employees are able to work in an environment free of harassment and discrimination;
assisting new employees to adapt to work in the Company by providing a structured induction and orientation process so that they fully understand the work environment and expectations of them in their role;
ensuring all employees meet established targets, goals and accountabilities through undertaking performance appraisals in accordance with employment agreements;
resolving disputes and disciplinary matters in accordance with established processes;
Observing equal opportunity, anti-discrimination, workplace relations and occupational health & safety legislation" (Policy: Human Resources Management 2010).
Part 5 -- Ethical Behavior and Roles of HR -- In any organization, ethics has now become even more important as the organization is forced to become more transparent to the public. For GPA, one of the central areas this happens is through the ability for sensitive information, particularly that information related to staff and members, to be protected under privacy legislation and to be used only in such a manner that is necessary and consistent with its Best Practice use. Within this framework, strong ethical guidelines prevent any sharing of information without specific consent of the parties. All data that is of a personal nature is either stored under lock and key or electronically with password protection. Finally, no information shall be provided to outside sources of the media without prior consent of the individual, organization and persons in question and GPA management (GPA 2011).
Part 6 -- HR Functions and Time -- At the very center of the planning process for GPA is a circular process that results in performance appraisals. This includes portions of budgets, program guidelines, strategic and tactical planning and interfacing with the community (GPA 2011).
Part 7- Current Projects and Problems -- In general, the organization has 11 active programs in place that are designed to envelop an umbrella of health care options for the area:
Aged Care -- Aged Care Access Initiative is funded by the National Department of Health and designed to provide more direct allied health services within the region.
Chronic Disease Management -- Helping to move from the GP to being the only source of healthcare to a managed care approach using other health professionals working in tandem.
Clinical Risk Management -- Clinical risk program for small rural hospitals, peer review programs.
Continuing Professional Development -- It is sometimes difficult for rural medical professional to find continual professional development. This program sponsors, informs, or assists in keeping regional professionals current.
Home Medicine Review- The Domiciliary Medication Management Review is a consumer-focused health care service designed to educate consumers and help with their GP, pharmacy and health care team manage medications.
Immunization -- Manages and schedules children and adults for needed immunization. Sponsored and funded by the National Immunization Program at large, although some are recommended, but not funded.
Mental Health -- Because the GP is the focal medical point, that is usually the start for issues involving mental health. In view of that, this program is building a system of mental health referrals and patient services in the rural regions.
National Prescribing Services -- Works with a national program to improve the quality and appropriate use of medication.
Nursing in General Practice -- Enhances RN and NP as a resource to help the GP and to provide enhanced care to the region.
Rural Community Support -- Also part of the Drought Recovery Support Program, designed to assist those negatively affected by drought.