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Understanding quality improvement

Quality Improvement (QI) is the term used for a group of methods that adopts a problem-solving approach to improve health worker performance through review of service delivery processes, planning for improvement and acting upon those plans.

QI is a part of several Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s investments in low-income settings, including in Nigeria, Ethiopia and India. But little is yet known about how QI works through, for example, leadership, quality of teamwork, supportive supervision or organisational culture.

IDEAS uses novel qualitative and quantitative approaches in Ethiopia to understand how QI approaches can influence health worker behaviours to improve care and how they affect both the delivery of services and the utilisation of services by patients. To do this we interview health care providers participating in a quality improvement intervention.

One multi-country initiative supporting understanding quality improvement is the Quality of Care Network research (QCN). Working with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), IDEAS aims to include the experience of Ethiopia in this research  by applying a country case study approach to study the national and local level experience of the network.

In Lagos, Nigeria our research aims to understand the processes put in place for quality improvement in the public and private sector and in primary and secondary level facilities.

Published content

Journal article
“Everything is from God but it is always better to get to the hospital on time”

Zelee Hill and her co-authors aimed to identify facilitators and barriers for women to deliver their babies in health facilities in Gombe State,...

Journal article
What influences women’s choice of place of delivery?

The study published in BMJ Global Health and authored by Nasir Umar and others is based on a discrete choice experiment following a comprehensive...

Journal article
Major gaps in child survival by ethnic group

At the global level, major inequalities are clear and persistent, write Schellenberg and Berhanu, inequalities by wealth, geographical location,...