EFFORTS to promote industrialisation at Provincial level continues to score success with Muchinga now having successfully hosted the first ever Region Two – Quality Improvement Conference 2020.
The event saw virtual participation from Luapula and Northern province that identified hindrances to providing quality health services.
It is encouraging that despite the negative impact of Covid-19, the Provincial administration has been able to push forward the development agenda.
Quality improvement (QI) consists of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which is a recognized leader and advisor on improving the Nation’s health care, defines quality in health care as a direct correlation between the level of improved health services and the desired health outcomes of individuals and populations.
To make improvements, an organization needs to understand its own delivery system and key processes.
The concepts behind the QI approaches in this toolkit recognize that both resources (inputs) and activities carried out (processes) are addressed together to ensure or improve quality of care (outputs/outcomes). A health service delivery system can be small and simple, such as, an immunization clinic, or large and complex, like a large managed-care organization. QI can assume many forms and is most effective if it is individualized to meet the needs of a specific organization’s health service delivery system.
Government is the main stakeholder in the health sector and it is only right that a whole scale approach is made to ensure service delivery is efficient.
Provincial Permanent Secretary Joyce Nsamba pointed out that Quality Improvement (QI) is a process that operates under the confidence that there is always room for improvement in the operations and practices.
She said QI is also about sustaining the right practices and behaviors in an institution or organisation.
The PS further stated that in healthcare services, QI is about making health care safer, effective, patient-centred, timely, efficient and equitable thereby, reducing both mobility and mortality which will lead to improvements in health of the population.
“Apart from improving the population’s health, QI reduces the per capita cost of health care,” she said.
She added that a healthier population generates a more productive work force and increases economic output.
The 2020 Quality Improvement conference is being held under a theme:
“Enhanced Community Engagement in Quality Improvement, Innovation and Excellence in Health Services towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).”
This was shared on her behalf by the Muchinga Province Assistant Secretary Sam Mbewe during the opening the two day conference in Chinsali.
And Provincial Health Director (PHD) for Muchinga Dr Nero Chilembo said the objective of the conference is to create a platform for sharing of experiences on improving quality through quality foundation, beyond technical and sustaining creative innovations.
Dr Chilembo stated other objectives as equitable access to health services, medication and equipment as well as scaling up community engagement and social accountability.
He said the 2020 Quality Improvement conference will guide health professionals in the goals to assess, increase and leverage their expertise in the quality arena.
Dr Chilembo said the conference also aims to provide health care professionals with an opportunity to share their improvement experiences, learn the best practices, connect to peers and showcase their work in quality and safety.
“The knowledge and insights that will be shared at the 2020 QI conference will identify how health professionals can significantly influence transformation initiative at both individual and facility level and offer the appropriate strategies to effect change , increase value and drive the health sector towards its quality goal,” Dr Chilembo said.
The regional quality improvement conference was recommended by the national quality improvement technical working group.
Health service delivery has become a major talking point at a global level and locally it is encouraging to see a deliberate attempt being made to secure acceptable standards.