n South African Journal of Industrial Engineering - An unlikely suitor : industrial engineering in health promotion




Primary healthcare forms the foundation for transforming healthcare in South Africa. The primary healthcare system is based on five pillars, one of them being health promotion. The principles of health promotion advocate that promoting health and wellness within communities will reduce the burden of disease at both primary and higher levels of the healthcare system. The challenge in South Africa, is that the factors affecting communities often inhibit their ability to control their health. In addition, the health promotion function within clinics is under-resourced: each health promoter serves impoverished communities of up to 50,000 people. This study aims to identify how industrial engineering principles can be applied to assess and improve the impact of health promotion on communities, and ultimately on the health care system as a whole. An industrial engineering approach has analysed five clinics within the Ekurhuleni Municipality in Gauteng. The results show a distinct lack of consistency between clinics. Common issues include a lack of standard processes, structures, measures, resources, and training to support health promotion. The problems identified are commonly analysed and addressed by industrial engineering in organisations, and industrial engineering could be a useful method for evaluating and improving the impact of health promotion on communities. Recommendations for improvement and further work were made based on the findings.

Primêre gesondheidsorg is die grondslag vir transformasie van gesondheidsorg in Suid-Afrika. Die primêre gesondheidsorgsisteem word gebaseer op vyf pilare waarvan een die bevordering van gesondheid behels. Die beginsels van gesondheidsbevordering hou voor bevordering van gesondheid en welstand in gemeenskappe die las van siekte op beide die primêre en hoër orde gesondheidsisteme sal verlig. Die uitdaging in Suid-Afrika is egter dat die faktore wat gemeenskappe raak dikwels hulle vermoê om hulle gesondheid te beheer inhibeer. Daarbenewens gaan die gesondheidsbevorderingsfunksie binne klinieke mank aan hulpbronne: elke person wat hierdie rol vervul bedien tipies 'n verarmde gemeenskap van tot 50 000 persone. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die aanwending van die beginsels van die bedryfsingenieurswese om impak gesondheidsbevordering te verbeter. Vyf klinieke in die Ekurhuleni Munisipaliteit in Gauteng is bestudeer. Die resultate toon gebrek aan konsekwentheid tussen die klinieke. Algemene problem hou verband met die gebrek aan standard prosesse, structure, maatstawwe, hlpbronne en opleiding. Voorstelle ter verbetering word voorgehou soos gebasser op die beginsels van die bedryfsingenieurswese.


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