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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.

In Lagos, Nigeria our research aims to understand the way in which quality improvement in the public and private sectors is influenced by health system context.

In Ethiopia, IDEAS uses novel qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how QI approaches can influence health worker behaviours to improve care and how they affect both the delivery and the utilisation of services by patients. We also partner with the UCL Institute for Global Health on a multi-country project designed to understand how the Quality of Care Network operates at country level. Working with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), IDEAS applies a country case study approach to study the national and local level experience of the network to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes in Ethiopia.

Published content

Journal article
Improving the use of focus group discussions in low income settings

This paper authored by Pauline Scheelbeek et al and published in BMC Medical Research Methodology describes how six exercises were used in 32...

Blog Post
Listening to Gombe Mothers

Feedback from patients about their experience of health care is a critically important step to improving quality of care.  But mechanisms for...

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,...