This post originally appeared on the K4Health Blog.
Dr. Karimou Sani, former USAID-HCI Advisor Tahoua, Niger; Dr Ekoye Saidou, Director General MOH Niger; Mr. Sabou Djibrina, UASID – HCI Niger; and Lauren Crigler, USAID HCI Bethesda, USA contributed to this blog post.
Faced by a severe shortage of health care professionals throughout Niger, the country’s Ministry of Public Health requested assistance from USAID’s Health Care Improvement Project (HCI) in 2009 to implement a program to address the health workforce crisis within the country. In response, my team and I recognized this has an exceptional opportunity to implement a program to improve the management of human resources in selected facilities and management offices within the Tahoua Region.
As a part of the collaborative approach we adopted, quality improvement (QI) teams tested and implemented changes within their own facilities, while simultaneously monitoring performance with QI advisors and coaches from both HCI and the Ministry of Public Health.
As Quality Improvement Advisors, we recognized the importance of supporting the facility teams in strengthening their ability to recognize where they needed to improve their performance and helping them to have confidence in managing the quality of that service within their team. In order to address areas that were in need of improvement, we determined the variables that were adversely impacting health worker performance, engagement, and productivity. The steps we undertook to address these areas are displayed in the diagram to the right. We began by aligning and clarifying tasks, and we measured progress in performance by tracking clinical indicators.