I wanted to respond to Treasa’s questions, From your experience, what are the biggest challenges for district health managers in tackling quality of care issues? Have you seen any practical solutions that should be shared wider?
While I am not a district health worker, I have had the privilege of working with many colleagues in East Africa and Latin America from whom I learned important lessons about how to enable and empower district health managers to tackle quality of care issues. Three insights stand out:
- District health teams need to define specific roles and responsibilities for quality and provide tools and training to those tasked with supporting quality activities at the point of care.
- Quality is not just about compliance with technical standards in public facilities, but must address people’s experience of care and community wants and needs. This requires that quality initiatives engage community and civil society stakeholders, as well as the private sector.
- Practical solutions to do this are creating district level mechanisms for regular review of performance and results across the whole sector, with community, civil society, and private sector engagement in these reviews. The meetings should also identify key gaps and develop action plans to address them. The district health management teams which exist in many countries need to lead these reviews and take responsibility for the engagement of broader stakeholders.
HIFA profile: Lani Rice Marquez works with the University Research Company and is based in USA. Interests: Quality improvement, knowledge management. Extensive experience with technical writing and editing and facilitation of webinars and peer-to-peer learning activities. She is a member of the WHO-HIFA Catalyst Group on Learning for quality health services.
lmarquez AT urc-chs.com