The Importance of Health Workforce Data in Decision Making

While many health professions labor markets are local, most policy levers affecting the training and deployment of health professionals can be applied at the state, regional, and national levels. Analysis of basic health workforce data is essential to plan for educational programs, shape regulatory policies, identify shortage areas, forecast employment needs, and justify funding requests. Health workforce data analysis can also be used to evaluate the impact that policy decisions have on the health workforce. Reform that focuses on mental health or Medicaid, or changes in medical or dental school admissions policies often rely on health workforce data analysis for support. Robust information about the current health workforce is necessary to evaluate existing programs and to plan for future needs.

CHWS is 1 of 9 health workforce research centers in the US sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), dedicated to providing data and information to inform decision making. Below are the HRSA-sponsored centers that conduct health workforce research: