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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
From Theory to Implementation: Adaptations to a Quality Improvement Initiative According to Implementing Context

Access to maternal and newborn care is increasing but due to the poor quality of care provided this doesn’t necessarily lead to fewer avoidable...

Journal article
How health care workers choose their jobs: a discrete choice experiment in Ethiopia

This study unlike many others, which interview doctors or medical students,  aimed to understand job preferences of lower-skilled cadres such as...

Journal article
Can quality improvement programmes affect health care workers’ motivation?

A knowledgeable and motivated workforce is critical for health systems to provide high-quality services. Many low- and middle-income countries

News
Sharing the knowledge – improving quality of care in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Network activities are focused in 48 learning health facilities, selected from seven regions, with the intention that positive...

Blog Post
How do we measure women’s experience of childbirth care?

When women go to a health facility to deliver, they expect to be looked after – to receive all the clinical care necessary to ensure their...

Journal article
Health extension worker’s abilities to classify childhood illnesses don’t improve with OHEP intervention

The Dagu PhD student Theodros Getachew published this paper in PLOS ONE aiming to evaluate the association between the Optimising the Health...

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...