Improving Healthcare Services through Quality of Care Assessment

The challenge of healthcare service availability in Malawi

Author: Praises Padambo

Quality of Care Assessment
The Dowa Hospital assessor speaks with an Orant Patient Care Attendant

The challenge of healthcare service availability in Malawi

For many years, Malawi has experienced a challenge of availability of healthcare services. Significant progress in improving health outcomes was made by expanding coverage to essential health services during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period (2000-2015). However, inconsistent quality of care remained a challenge and in 2017, the Health Sector Strategic Plan II 2017-2022 (HSSP II) was launched.

In order to achieve the strategic plan goal, the Quality Management Directorate (QMD) was established in the Ministry of Health (MoH) which was followed by the development of the Quality Management Policy for the Health Sector with a focus on addressing the challenges in quality of care using a systems approach.

What is the Quality of Care Systems approach?

The Quality of Care Systems approach is a program that uses compliance to quality of care standards to rate the level of quality provided at a health facility. This exercise is done yearly in all healthcare facilities and in every department. The quality improvement team looks at the gaps that are there in the delivery of service and it is expected that the facility should address the gaps by coming up with quality improvement projects, aimed at addressing the gaps. This also involves looking at all systems, policies and guidelines that are in place. This is an evidence based assessment which requires data backup. 

Improving Healthcare Services through Quality of Care Assessment

Why is Quality of Care Assessment important?

Quality improvement assessment helps in improving client satisfaction by making  sure that patients and service users are well protected from any form of abuse including physical harm. It also helps in making sure that service users know their rights.

Quality of Care Assessment is also important as it is essential for improving the health status of Malawi

Quality improvement also helps in the process of staffing. It helps in making sure that healthcare facilities have well qualified staff that are continuously trained and advancing their knowledge and skills. This contributes to high quality service delivery. This exercise also reduces the financial risks and burdens on service users/clients as it protects them  from financial catastrophes. 

We are so happy to have been assessed and we are looking forward to the results, which will greatly help us improve the quality of our service delivery, thus serving the community better.

The Orant Journal