The RAFAELA system: a workforce planning tool for nurse staffing and human resource management

Nurs Manag (Harrow). 2014 May;21(2):30-6. doi: 10.7748/nm2014.


The RAFAELA system was developed in Finland during the 1990s to help with the systematic and daily measurement of nursing intensity (NI) and allocation of nursing staff. The system has now been rolled out across almost all hospitals in Finland, and implementation has started elsewhere in Europe and Asia. This article describes the system, which aims to uphold staffing levels in accordance with patients' care needs, and its structure, which consists of three parts: the Oulu Patient Classification instrument; registration of available nursing resources; and the Professional Assessment of Optimal Nursing Care Intensity Level method, as an alternative to classical time studies. The article also highlights the benefits of using a systematic measurement of NI.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking / methods
  • Finland
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods*
  • Health Plan Implementation / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Care / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration*
  • Resource Allocation / standards
  • State Medicine / organization & administration*
  • United Kingdom
  • Workload / classification*
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*