Virtual versus in-person quality improvement coaching support in India: A brief analysis of resource expenditures
In December 2016, ASSIST started providing support to health workers of three hospitals in Meghalaya – a day’s travel from ASSIST’s office in New Delhi. To meet the challenge associated with providing on-site coaching to these facilities, ASSIST began providing virtual coaching to using WhatsApp and phone calls.
A new short report, Virtual versus in-person quality improvement coaching support in India: A brief analysis of resource expenditures, compares the cost of providing exclusively in-person versus strategic virtual support to health workers learning QI skills in three facilities of Meghalaya. Previously, when providing exclusive on-site support, the project would carry out monthly visits. By leveraging the power of current information and communication technology to enhance the coach’s ability to support a QI team remotely, the project was able to reduce the cost per baby served from around $1.97 to $0.66. Moreover, virtual coaching freed up 25 hours per month of the coach's time – time that was mostly spent in travel, rather than strengthening the skills of QI teams. This allow the coach to support other teams, and magnify her impact.
Most importantly, all facilities improved care after receiving initial in-person training followed by virtual support, demonstrating that virtual support can be both efficient and effective.