Advancing obstetric and neonatal care in a regional hospital in Ghana via continuous quality improvement

Ridge Regional Hospital, Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana.
International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (Impact Factor: 1.54). 01/2012; 116(1):17-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.08.010
Source: PubMed


To reduce maternal and neonatal death at a large regional hospital through the use of quality improvement methodologies.
In 2007, Kybele and the Ghana Health Service formed a partnership to analyze systems and patient care processes at a regional hospital in Accra, Ghana. A model encompassing continuous assessment, implementation, advocacy, outputs, and outcomes was designed. Key areas for improvement were grouped into "bundles" based on personnel, systems management, and service quality. Primary outcomes included maternal and perinatal mortality, and case fatality rates for hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders. Implementation and outcomes were evaluated tri-annually between 2007 and 2009.
During the study period, there was a 34% decrease in maternal mortality despite a 36% increase in patient admission. Case fatality rates for pre-eclampsia and hemorrhage decreased from 3.1% to 1.1% (P<0.05) and from 14.8% to 1.9% (P<0.001), respectively. Stillbirths were reduced by 36% (P<0.05). Overall, the maternal mortality ratio decreased from 496 per 100000 live births in 2007 to 328 per 100,000 in 2009.
Maternal and newborn mortality were reduced in a low-resource setting when appropriate models for continuous quality improvement were developed and employed.

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Available from: Medge D Owen, Mar 05, 2014
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    • "A recent study to improve quality of care in hospitals in Malawi suggests that staff stability, leadership, training, and ongoing support from district staff and external coaches trained in quality improvement methods are necessary to sustain the process [33]. Generally, there is little evidence regarding how quality improvement initiatives can improve outcomes [34-36]. It is important to understand how our intervention is or is not effective, and we will monitor quality of care as it could be an important driver of reduction in the first delay. "
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    ABSTRACT: In many low-income countries women tend to deliver at home, and delays in receiving appropriate maternal care can be fatal. A contextual understanding of these delays is important if countries are to meet development targets for maternal health. We present qualitative research with women who delivered at home in rural Nepal, to gain a contemporary understanding of the context where we are testing the effectiveness of an intervention to increase institutional deliveries. We purposively sampled women who had recently delivered at home and interviewed them to explore their reasons for home delivery. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic content analysis. We used the 'delays' model discussed in the literature to frame our analysis. Usually a combination of factors prevented women from delivering in health institutions. Many women were aware of the benefits of institutional delivery yet their status in the home restricted their access to health facilities. Often they did not wish to bring shame on their family by going against their wishes, or through showing their body in a health institution. They often felt unable to demand the organisation of transportation because this may cause financial problems for their family. Some felt that government incentives were insufficient. Often, a lack of family support at the time of delivery meant that women delivered at home. Past bad experience, and poor quality health services, also prevented women from having an institutional delivery. Formative research is important to develop an understanding of local context. Sociocultural issues, perceived accessibility of health services, and perceived quality of care were all important barriers preventing institutional delivery. Targeting one factor alone may not be effective in increasing institutional deliveries. Our intervention encourages communities to develop local responses to address the factors preventing institutional delivery through women's groups and improved health facility management. We will monitor perceptions of health services over time to help us understand the effectiveness of the intervention.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 02/2014; 14(1):89. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-89 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    • "In the absence of high level support local commitment can improve outcomes. The majority of audit and feedback based strategies did not involve large monetary investments, but instead enabled facilities to make the most of their existing resources [22,23,25-27,29-34]. Leigh et al [50] note that locally suggested equipment substitutions reduced costs and allowed for quicker implementation of new procedures due to easier procurement processes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts to scale-up maternal and child health services in lower and middle income countries will fail if services delivered are not of good quality. Although there is evidence of strategies to increase the quality of health services, less is known about the way these strategies affect health system goals and outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to examine this relationship. We undertook a search of MEDLINE, SCOPUS and CINAHL databases, limiting the results to studies including strategies specifically aimed at improving quality that also reported a measure of quality and at least one indicator related to health system outcomes. Variation in study methodologies prevented further quantitative analysis; instead we present a narrative review of the evidence. Methodologically, the quality of evidence was poor, and dominated by studies of individual facilities. Studies relied heavily on service utilisation as a measure of strategy success, which did not always correspond to improved quality. The majority of studies targeted the competency of staff and adequacy of facilities. No strategies addressed distribution systems, public-private partnership or equity. Key themes identified were the conflict between perceptions of patients and clinical measures of quality and the need for holistic approaches to health system interventions. Existing evidence linking quality improvement strategies to improved MNCH outcomes is extremely limited. Future research would benefit from the inclusion of more appropriate indicators and additional focus on non-facility determinants of health service quality such as health policy, supply distribution, community acceptability and equity of care.
    PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e83070. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0083070 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The failure to reduce preventable maternal deaths represents a violation of women’s right to life, health, non-discrimination and equality. Maternal deaths result from weaknesses in health systems: inadequate financing of services, poor information systems, inefficient logistics management and most important, the lack of investment in the most valuable resource, the human resource of health workers. Inadequate senior leadership, poor communication and low staff morale are cited repeatedly in explaining low quality of healthcare. Vertical programmes undermine other service areas by creating competition for scarce skilled staff, separate reporting systems and duplication of training and tasks. Discussion Confidential enquiries and other quality-improvement activities have identified underlying causes of maternal deaths, but depend on the health system to respond with remedies. Instead of separate vertical programmes for management of HIV, tuberculosis, and reproductive health, integration of care and joint management of pregnancy and HIV would be more effective. Addressing health system failures that lead to each woman’s death would have a wider impact on improving the quality of care provided in the health service as a whole. More could be achieved if existing resources were used more effectively. The challenge for African countries is how to get into practice interventions known from research to be effective in improving quality of care. Advocacy and commitment to saving women’s lives are crucial elements for campaigns to influence governments and policy -makers to act on the findings of these enquiries. Health professional training curricula should be updated to include perspectives on patients’ rights, communication skills, and integrated approaches, while using adult learning methods and problem-solving techniques. Summary In countries with high rates of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), indirect causes of maternal deaths from HIV-associated infections now exceed direct causes of hemorrhage, hypertension and sepsis. Advocacy for all pregnant HIV-positive women to be on anti-retroviral therapy must extend to improvements in the quality of service offered, better organised obstetric services and integration of clinical HIV care into maternity services. Improved communication and specialist support to peripheral facilities can be facilitated through advances in technology such as mobile phones.
    BMC International Health and Human Rights 06/2013; 13(1):27. DOI:10.1186/1472-698X-13-27 · 1.44 Impact Factor
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