Improving health outcomes is the ultimate goal of HEALTHQUAL. Quality improvement activities build from standard improvement methodologies to provide clinics with a systematic approach to continually improve processes of care. QI priorities are determined based on data results, local and national priorities. At the QI project level, the model follows five main performance steps:
1) Review, collect and analyze data
2) Develop project teams
3) Investigate the process (root cause analysis)
4) Plan and test changes/improvement strategies (PDSA/improvement cycle) or more formal implementation strategies
5) Evaluate and adapt changes and develop sustainability plan.
Clinics receive experiential training in each step. This prepares a facility to move a project through each step to completion and enables them to repeat the process with new opportunities identified for improvement. Using the HQ QI approach, clinics diagnose the underlying causes of gaps in their processes and systems of care delivery to identify the most effective improvement strategies that are sustainable over time.
Key components of the HQ QI strategy include:
Additional strategies include:
QI in Resource Limited Settings
A growing body of evidence shows that QI can be successful in resource limited settings (RLS). Small scale, pilot studies provide evidence of specific interventions tested to address a wide variety of illnesses and affected populations. Additional research is necessary to identify commonly used strategies that are both successful and sustainable in diverse RLS.
HEALTHQUAL has developed a comprehensive resource list of publications addressing improvement in resource-limited settings which can be found in this bibliography of QI in Resource Limited Settings.