Public Health Leadership

Operational Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Public Health Facilities

Quality Assurance In Public Health Facilities

A self-sustainable model of quality care with significant determinant of growth, quality enhancement tools, health network and guidance can improve capabilities and competencies of healthcare providers and facilities. This will achieve and ensure universal access to affordable, equitable and quality healthcare services to be responsive and accountable to the needs of the population.

Healthcare Quality Assurance Guidelines

Improving quality and service delivery of healthcare ensures client trust and satisfaction in public facilities with better health outcomes. The connotation of quality is subjective and varies with stakeholders including patients, administrators, communities, government or private healthcare professionals and experts. Healthcare service facilities equate quality with technical performance while society or community defines quality as protection of health rights and delivery of services to underprivileged, whereas administrators perceive quality as compliance with protocols or guidelines and optimum resource utilisation. Several international bodies have devised guidelines and protocols to standardise quality in healthcare. Guidelines for quality care are broadly classified intoservice and technical components. Technical factors are concerned with infection control, clinical protocols and emergency response that impact outcome of service delivery by health service providers and professionals like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, paramedical staff, etc. Service quality pertains to prompt delivery of services, courteous staff behaviour, hygiene, cleanliness and patient privacy that determines and ensures client satisfaction levels.

Application of Quality Guidelines in Public Health Facilities

Operational guidelines for quality assurance and assessment tools are essential at every public health facility. Quality assurance committee conducts audits to enforce guidelines and ensure remedial actions to meet the standards. The areas covered in the guidelines include quality management, safety provisions, patient rights and consent, infection control, clinical research and other support services. An integral part of the Quality Assurance development process and guidelines ensure consultation and feedback from all stakeholders. Guidelines associated with physical infrastructure and human resources are based on the services delivered by public health providers. Norms are laid on handling equipments and drugs in public health facilities. Panel of doctors and healthcare professionals have to develop and follow every procedure listed in the guidelines. All parameters accessed have standards and checkpoints applicable to the team member of nurses, pharmacist, administrative staff, health officers and managers employed in the facility. A checklist is designed to ensure accessibility, availability and quality of services delivered at public health facilities.

The management of the facility prioritizes and assesses the needs to set short and long term goals to designate appropriate responsibilities to the employees. Dissemination of the good practices and activities captured by the guidelines among the employees of the public health facilities is critical. Adherence to quality is assured by training and mentoring both by government and private healthcare service providers. Training and supportive supervision increases knowledge and skills of professionals employed at public facilities to deliver quality services. Standard monitoring protocols and post-training follow-ups ensure competency in the services rendered. Initiatives and strategic programs with adequate equipment and supplies delivered by skilled and trained doctors and nurses have resulted in improving delivery of quality public healthcare services.

Online Public Health Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides online programs – Executive Certificate in Public health leadership & Research and Advanced PG Diploma in Global Health Management & Policy for improving quality assurance at public health facilities.

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