Health workforce

Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN)

User's manual

Publication details

Publication date: December 2015
Languages: English, French, Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 150019 7


User's manual

The Workload Indicators of Staffing Need (WISN) method is a human resource management tool. It provides health managers a systematic way to make staffing decisions in order to manage their valuable human resources well.

The WISN method is based on a health worker’s workload, with activity (time) standards applied for each workload component. The method:

  • determines how many health workers of a particular type are required to cope with the workload of a given health facility;
  • assesses the workload pressure of the health workers in that facility.

This is a revision of an earlier WISN user’s manual, which WHO published in 1998. This revised manual takes into account the now-decentralized nature of health management in many countries. It is thus intended for the wider range of managers working at the different levels in today’s health systems.