10 Things we learned at the last quarterly review meeting

Vicky Ramirez

Consultant, USAID ASSIST Project/URC

Every quarter, USAID ASSIST staff organizes a quarterly review meeting, commonly known to those in attendance, as the QRM. By definition, the meeting is a report-out to our donor, USAID. However, it has become a leading example of how health care quality improvement (QI) is done in low-resource settings. This year, we heard examples of QI from 30 ASSIST-supported countries.

Here are some of our favorite narratives shared on Twitter: #QRM17.

1. Mali: Impact on maternal and neonatal mortality at facility level

Preeclampsia and eclampsia (PE/E) are the leading causes of maternal mortality in the Kayes Region in Mali with 70% of deaths at the facility level. Through the implementation of key changes, ASSIST was able to reduce the mortality rate due to eclampsia by 60% and newborn mortality due to asphyxia by 75%.

2. Cote d’Ivoire: A simple reminder can save lives

The percentage of recently diagnosed HIV-positive clients alive and on ART treatment increased from 68% (May 2015) to 96% (Nov 2016) in 100% of sites. Changes as small as calling or making a home visit to clients contributed to this increase.

3. Zika: What we know so far

In 2016, the international health community began responding to the Zika virus epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC Region). This is what we know so far about the epidemic.

4. Malawi: Institutionalizing community improvement

HIV/AIDS has triggered a growing population of orphans and vulnerable children. ASSIST in Malawi is working with numerous stakeholders to make sure that essential services are provided to those who need them most.

5. Zambia: Engagement, Adherence and Retention (EAR)

ASSIST in Zambia is working to improve the nutritional status of malnourished HIV clients and increase their engagement, adherence and retention (EAR) in care. Through a series of coaching visits and EAR learning sessions, staff improved patients’ adherence to treatment from 45% to 99%.

6. India: A lot of babies!

ASSIST’s Chief of Party reminded us that the number of deliveries they support is not ordinary!

7. Uganda: Spread

Administering Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor (AMTSL) began with just 10 sites in Uganda. Using tested changes from the original demonstration sites, ASSIST spread this improvement work to 118 sites and saw immediate results. Just look at this graph!

8. R&E: The case for research

We love this quote from our Agreement Officer Representative: “This project has been unusually successful in convincing USAID missions that research is essential to quality improvement.” – Dr. Jim Heiby.

Check out why. Browse the studies.

9. Tanzania: Achieving 90-90-90

ASSIST is responding to UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets through increased partnerships. What does this look like? Almost 800 improvement teams across Tanzania achieving results like this.

10. DRC: From 0 to 100

ASSIST support in DRC closed in December 2016, but not without leaving behind great results. NACS activities (percentage of PLHIV who received a nutritional assessment and counseling) increased from 0% to 100% between August 2015 and September 2016. The team also designed nine job aids on ART in French. They're displayed on clinic walls to assist healthcare providers. 


Interested in more? Check out our Annual Report or browse through each country’s Annual Report here.

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The meeting is open to those interested in learning more about quality improvement. Each quarter, we are joined by partners ranging from the WHO to university students. Attendees have the option to attend in person, online via the webinar, and join the discussion on Twitter. To learn more, email: assist-info@urc-chs.com

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