Quality (145) National commitment (16) Four questions on national commitment to quality of care

19 July, 2021

Greetings everyone,

I hope everyone is doing good.

I have to say that it is a real pleasure to follow the discussion going on and to learn from each of you.

As you all know, we started discussing national commitment to quality of care last week. I invite you from today to explore more in depth the thematic using the following 4 questions:

1. What are the biggest challenges to enhance national commitment to quality of care in your setting? How can these challenges be overcome?

'A critical early step is for national level leadership to commit to improve quality of health services, for example through high-level official political or policy statements' (p13)

WHO: Quality health services: a planning guide (2020) https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240011632

We have touched on issues of national commitment in the past week [ https://www.hifa.org/rss-feeds/17]. We now invite you to reflect on barriers to commitment and share your thoughts on what are the biggest challenges to enhance national commitment to quality of care in your setting? How can these challenges be overcome?

2. How can leadership and national commitment to quality of care be sustained?

'Further activities will require ongoing attention to promote the sustainability of efforts' (Quality health services: a planning guide, p19)

Leaders should sustain ongoing advocacy and coordination of national programmes, and address health systems constraints on delivery of quality health services that are not easy to resolve at a facility or district level. We invite you to reflect on ways to keep the momentum to ensure the continuity of the commitment to quality. In other words, How can leadership and national commitment to quality of care be sustained?

3. How can we continuously engage with health systems leaders on quality of care?

'Development and implementation of national strategic direction on quality relies upon active engagement of stakeholders from across all levels of the health system.?' (Quality health services: a planning guide, p14)

Stakeholder and community engagement is required at all levels. An enabling environment is crucial so that every actor is empowered play a role to ensure quality is prioritized, with leadership support. We invite you to reflect on How can we continuously engage with health systems leaders on quality of care?

4. In your context, what is needed from health systems leaders to maintain quality essential health services during public health emergencies (for example the current COVID-19 pandemic)?

Public health emergencies put health systems under pressure and bring their own needs and challenges. Quality health services when delivered can lessen direct mortality from an outbreak and indirect mortality from vaccine-preventable and treatable conditions. Additionally, delivering quality of care before and during an outbreak can enhance trust in the health care system, leading to continued uptake of health services by the community. In your context, what is needed from health systems leaders to maintain quality essential health services during public health emergencies (for example the current COVID-19 pandemic)?

Really looking forward to reading your posts,

Best regards,

Oriane

HIFA profile: Oriane Bodson is a Technical Officer, Quality of Care at the World Health Organization, Geneva. She is a member of the WHO-HIFA Working Group on Learning for Quality Health Services.

https://www.hifa.org/projects/learning-quality-health-services

https://www.hifa.org/support/members/oriane

bodsono AT who.int