6. Provide training in CQI

Depending on the improvement experience and capacity of the VMMC CQI team, formal CQI training may be needed to build the team competence in quality improvement methodology.  Key competencies needed by VMMC CQI teams include the following:

  • Forming a functional improvement team
  • Analyzing the current system of VMMC care
  • Developing improvement aims based on the gaps identified
  • Developing and testing changes to improve VMMC performance using the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle
  • Measuring, interpreting, and documenting results, including calculating VMMC quality indicators and plotting time series charts

Initial CQI training usually consists of a two- or three-day classroom training followed by onsite coaching to help learners apply their new knowledge and skills.

Existing eLearning courses on health care quality improvement can provide general orientation to CQI, including the Global Health eLearning Center course, “Improving health care quality” and the ASSIST website course, “Improving health care.”  A VMMC Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement (QA/QI) module is in development for the VMMC Online Training Hub hosted by AIDSFree.

Short guides to help health workers and coaches understand key concepts and skills in learning improvement are also available on the ASSIST website: Tips and Tools for Learning Improvement.

Why CQI training is helpful:  While the tools used in CQI are not complicated, frontline providers do need some orientation to quality improvement methods and principles to feel confident in their efforts to improve.  While this orientation can be provided on site by the improvement coach, ASSIST has found it useful to provide formal CQI training to at least a few members of the site-level CQI team, followed up by on-site coaching.