Service Delivery

Insights About the Process and Impact of Implementing Nursing Guidelines on Delivery of Care in Hospitals and Community Settings

Little is known about the impact of implementing nursing-oriented best practice guidelines on the delivery of patient care in either hospital or community settings. The results of this study indicate that implementation of nursing best practice guidelines can result in improved practice and patient outcomes in some settings. [adapted from author]

High Impact of Mobile Units for Mass HIV Testing in Africa

Despite the usefulness of voluntary counselling and testing centres implemented in Africa, their limited capacity does not allow for vast testing of the general population. Therefore, in order to increase the number of individuals tested for HIV with the aim of enhancing the scaling up, we developed a strategy based on bringing the healthcare package much closer to the people, by using mobile HIV testing units. We herein report the Cameroon experience of mobile HIV testing unit strategy, demonstrating its effectiveness in reaching a great number of individuals, including those without usual access to HIV testing facilities. [abstract]

Quality of Communication about Older Patients between Hospital Physicians and General Practitioners: a Panel Study Assessment

The main objectives of this study were to assess the quality of the written communication between physicians and to estimate the number of patients that could have been treated at primary care level instead of at a general hospital. [from abstract]

Quality of Care Management Center in Nepal: Improving Services with Limited Resources

This working paper evaluates th success of the Quality of Care Management Center in Nepal and highlights the fact that even in resource-poor settings, quality of care in health service delivery can be achieved. This model for a quality of care center that provides timely, appropriate, and ongoing support to clinical facilities may be especially useful in countries where centralized systems are in place for allocation of resources or where maintenance and supply capacity is limited to central locations.

Integrating Counseling and Testing into Family Planning Services: What Happens to the Quality of FP

This presentation details a program to implement and evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost of two models of integration of HIV prevention information, and routine offer of provider initiated counselling and testing for HIV into family planning (FP) services in 18 health facilities in North West Province, South Africa. [adapted from abstract]

Toolkits for Strengthening Primary Health Care

In Albania, the PHRplus Project developed and tested a series of tools designed to introduce family medicine concepts and strengthen primary health care (PHC) services. PHC facility managers will find the toolkits useful reference materials when developing strategies and tools to improve quality of care and monitor and evaluate PHC strengthening efforts. This series comprises three toolkits: PHC Service Delivery Toolkit; PHC Quality Improvement (QI) Toolkit; and PHC Health Information Systems (HIS) Toolkit. [from abstract]

Mentoring for Service-Delivery Change: a Trainer's Handbook

This handbook is intended to help bridge the gap between the theoretical constructs behind mentoring (and associated cultural change in health-care settings) and real practitioner experience. Although mentoring has taken hold in a variety of professional settings, we focus specifically upon mentoring for service-delivery change within clinical health-care settings. Our audience is likely to be a practitioner who sees the need for a new process, protocol or procedure.

Quality and Effectiveness of Different Approaches to Primary Care Delivery in Brazil

Since 1994, Brazil has developed a primary care system based on multidisciplinary teams which include not only a physician and a nurse, but also 4-6 lay community health workers. Yet relatively few investigations have examined its effectiveness, especially in contrast with that of the traditional multi-specialty physician team approach it is replacing, or that of other existing family medicine approaches placing less emphasis on lay community health workers. The main objective of the study is to evaluate the quality of care offered to adults through different models of care currently present.

Decentralization and Service Delivery

Dissatisfied with centralized approaches to delivering local public services, a large number of countries are decentralizing responsibility for these services to lower- level, locally elected governments. The results have been mixed. This chapter provides a framework for evaluating the benefits and costs, in terms of service delivery, of different approaches to decentralization, based on relationships of accountability between different actors in the delivery chain. Moving from a model of central provision to that of decentralization to local governments introduces a new relationship of accountability—between national and local policymakers—while altering existing relationships, such as that between citizens and elected politicians.

Practice of Physicians and Nurses in the Brazilian Family Health Programme: Evidences of Change in the Delivery Health Care Model

The article analyzes the practice of physicians and nurses working on the Family Health Program. A questionnaire was used to assess the evidences of assimilation of the new values and care principles proposed by the programme. The results showed that a great number of professionals seem to have incorporated the practice of home visits, health education actions and planning of the teams’ work agenda to their routine labour activities. [abstract]

Human Resources and Training in Mental Health

The purpose of the guidance package is to assist policy-makers and planners to: develop a policy and comprehensive strategy for improving the mental health of populations; use existing resources to achieve the greatest possible benefits; provide effective services to persons in need; and assist the reintegration of people with mental disorders into all aspects of community life, thus improving their overall quality of life.

Priority Setting in Developing Countries Health Care Institutions: the Case of a Ugandan Hospital

Because the demand for health services outstrips the available resources, priority setting is one of the most difficult issues faced by health policy makers, particularly those in developing countries. The objective of this paper is to describe priority setting in a teaching hospital in Uganda and evaluate the description against an ethical framework for fair priority setting processes. [from abstract]

Village Doctors in Different Ownership Clinics in China's Countryside

This study examines the relationship between medical practice and type of clinic ownership in HeBei province in the People’s Republic of China. The objective was to find out whether the kind of clinic ownership affects health care delivery patterns and access to health care. The study was carried out between 1995 and 2000 by a team of researchers from China, Israel and the Netherlands. [from preface]

Rwanda Human Resources Assessment for HIV/AIDS Scale-up. Phase 3 Report: Staffing Implications and Scenarios for HIV/AIDS Services Scale-up

This report presents findings from Phase 3 of an assessment of the human resources implications of HIV/AIDS services scale-up in Rwanda. It focuses on the staffing implications and associated costs of HIV/AIDS services scale-up. By documenting current staffing levels and the level of effort necessary to provide HIV/AIDS services, Phase 3 of the study analyzes how many full-time equivalent (FTE) staff will be needed, and at what costs, if the Government of Rwanda is to meet its HIV/AIDS service delivery objectives. The human resources projections are based on data gathered during Phases 1 and 2 of the study.

Mapping of HIV and AIDS Services and Resources in South Africa

The primary objective of the study was to identify organisations/institutions that provide HIV and AIDS services at the sub-district level, the range of services they provide and their funding sources. This in turn will inform sub-district and district management teams of the progress and impact of services provided and furnish them with tools to monitor the performance and activities on NGOs in their sub-districts and districts. It is hoped that the report will serve as a baseline for ongoing monitoring of the country’s response to the epidemic. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires, staff interviews and record reviews.

Acceptability and Feasibility of Introducing the WHO Focused Antenatal Care Package in Ghana

The Government of Ghana has adopted the WHO focused antenatal care (ANC) package in a move to improve access, quality and continuity of ANC services to pregnant women. As part of these efforts, the Government has exempted fees for ANC clients. The main objective of this study, undertaken by Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), FRONTIERS, and with USAID funding, was to examine the extent to which adaptation of the package influenced quality of care received by pregnant women and its acceptability to both providers and clients. The study used a policy analysis and a situation analysis in ten intervention clinics in which the package had been introduced and four comparison clinics.

Acceptability and Sustainability of the WHO Focused Antenatal Care package in Kenya

To promote the health and survival of mothers and babies, Kenya has adapted the WHO goal-oriented Antenatal Care (ANC) package, popularly known as focused ANC (FANC). The Ministry of Health (MOH) has designed new guidelines for ANC services, placing emphasis on refocusing antenatal care, birth planning and emergency preparedness, and the identification, prevention and management of life threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth. ANC visits are now used as an entry point for a range of other services, thus promoting comprehensive integrated service delivery. A major challenge, however, is whether the Kenyan health care system can cope with the implementation of this package.

Study of Health Workers' Knowledge and Practices Regarding Leprosy Care and Control at Primary Care Clinics in the Eerstehoek Area of Gert Sibande District in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

A successful leprosy care and control program within the general healthcare services at the PHC level is highly dependent upon the HWs having adequate knowledge of, and practical training on, leprosy. This study describes PHC workers’ knowledge of leprosy, and their practical involvement in leprosy care and control activities at PHC clinics in the Eerstehoek area of Gert Sibande district in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, where leprosy still occurs. [author’s description]

Knowledge and Skills Gap of Medical Practitioners Delivering District Hospital Services in the Western Cape, South Africa

Health service managers in the Western Cape requested a skills audit of medical officers in district hospitals to identify a possible gap in competencies that may impact on service delivery. The aim of this study was thus to identify the knowledge and skills of medical practitioners delivering these services in the Western Cape and to compare them with service needs in order to make recommendations for education and training. This article reports on the results of the knowledge and skills gap analysis, while the results of the district hospital performance data and in-depth interviews are reported elsewhere.

Technical Review of Health Service Delivery at District Level

The 2003 technical review report covers only one main strategy: district health services. It looks at district health service performance from the viewpoint of Council Health Management Teams (CHMT) and LG. The report presents a short general appraisal of district health services (section 1). Planning and budgeting for better health (section 2) looks at what the requirements are for a performing planning and budgeting process (section 2.1, including guidelines and process) and what information should be available at council level to develop a comprehensive council health plan (section 2.2). Issues related to implementing the council health plan (section 3) include financial resources (3.1), non-financial resources (3.2), systems development (3.3) and service delivery (3.4).

Maintenance of Competence of Rural District Hospital Medical Practitioners

The maintenance of competence by rural district hospital medical practitioners is a challenge faced by all countries and, most acutely, by resource-poor nations. It is a vital element in addressing the disparity between rural and urban health care in South Africa. The aim of this study was to define expert consensus on the content and methods most suitable for the maintenance of competence by rural district hospital practitioners in the Western Cape province of South Africa. [author’s description]

Involvement of Private General Practitioners in Visiting Primary Healthcare Clinics

The primary healthcare system was adopted as the vehicle of healthcare delivery and a means of reaching the larger part of the population in South Africa in 1994. One of the strategies employed in providing a comprehensive service is the incorporation of visits to clinics by doctors in support of other members of the primary healthcare team, particularly nurses. A successful collaboration at this level brings benefit to everyone involved, particularly patients. Clear expectations and a confusion of roles leads to lack of teamwork, thus it is important to have clearly established models for such involvement. [abstract]

COPE for Child Health in Kenya and Guinea: an Analysis of Service Quality

This report presents the results of a longitudinal, quasi-experimental study evaluating the introduction and use of COPE and the resulting changes in service quality in two countries, Kenya and Guinea. At the end of a 15-month period, providers’ attitudes, providers’ ability to solve problems, service quality, and client satisfaction were assessed at eight intervention sites and at eight matched control sites, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. [author’s description]

Managing Reproductive Health Services with a Gender Perspective

The roles that women and men play should guide the ways in which clinic staff assess their clients’ needs and provide care. This edition of The Manager shows how awareness of gender issues can improve the design, mangement, and delivery of health services, and takes you step by step through the process of assessing the influence of gender on organizational management. [editor’s description]

COPE Handbook: a Process for Improving Quality in Health Services, Revised Edition

COPE, which stands for “client-oriented, provider-efficient” services, is a process that helps health care staff continuously improve the quality and efficiency of services provided at their facility and make services more responsive to clients’ needs. COPE provides staff with practical, easy-to-use tools to identify problems and develop solutions using local resources, and it encourages all levels of staff and supervisors to work together as a team and to involve clients in assessing services. Through COPE, staff develop a customer focus, learning to define quality in concrete terms by putting themselves in their clients’ shoes.

Meeting the Need: Strengthening Family Planning Programs

This report is designed as a general resource to help family planning program managers strengthen their programs and meet growing family planning needs…It offers a broad overview of key programmatic considerations. Each subsection includes a list of practical specialized resources and hands-on tools that can support program managers desiring to bring about programmatic change…

Current HIV/AIDS End-of-Life Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Survey of Models, Services, Challenges and Priorities

In response to increased global public health funding initiatives to HIV/AIDS care in Africa, this study aimed to describe practice models, strategies and challenges to delivering end-of-life care in sub-Saharan Africa. A survey end-of-life care programs was conducted, addressing the domains of service aims and configuration, barriers to pain control, governmental endorsement and strategies, funding, monitoring and evaluation, and research. Both closed and qualitative responses were sought. [author’s description]

Intersection of Gender, Access and Quality of Care in Reproductive Services: Examples from Kenya, India and Guatemala

This paper describes the experiences of three types of programs (government, reproductive health NGO, and women’s health NGO) in Kenya, India, and Guatemala that integrate gender in their work and examines how they integrate gender into programs that improve quality of care and access to care. It should be emphasized that this report does not document whether gender integration results in higher quality and access, but rather documents how gender integration can take place. [author’s description]

Managing Programs to Maximize Access and Quality: Lessons Learned from the Field

This paper focuses on lessons learned about building quality improvement into service delivery programs. Addressed to the program leaders and donor agencies that allocate resources for service delivery programs, the paper offers guidance on the actions that must take place to improve the quality of reproductive health and child survival programs. This guidance is based on the field experiences of members of the Management and Supervision Subcommittee of the MAQ Initiative. [publisher’s description]

Maximizing Quality of Care through Health Sector Reform: the Role of Quality Assurance Strategies

This document aims to facilitate the development of quality-oriented health sector reforms by providing a clear conceptual framework that can serve as a roadmap for policymakers and senior managers. By taking advantage of opportunities to integrate quality assurance activities into health sector reforms, healthcare leaders can maximize the effectiveness of reform and move toward optimizing health outcomes for the citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean. [author’s description]