The start of my travels was to Accra in Ghana for the 1st African Forum for Quality Improvement in Healthcare, set up by Dr Leroy Edozien, an obstetrician from Manchester with a yearning to improve healthcare in Africa.
I was honoured to give the keynote presentation after the formal opening by the Hon. Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, Deputy Minister of Health, Ghana. I followed this up with training workshops on 'Making Safety a Reality: Practical Solutions for Africa'. The programme was well crafted with a lot of expertise and much to discuss. A full report of this conference can be found in this newsletter.
From Ghana, I moved on to Durban in South Africa for IHI’s 1st African Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. The aim of this forum was to address the unique challenges faced by the healthcare community living and working in Africa.
I took part in the pre-Conference intensive on the science of improvement. The session lead and chair, Lauren De Kock (auruminstitute.org), took the interesting approach of asking Maureen Tshabalala to present the framework for improvement and Dr Anthony Reed and Dr Rolene Wagner to give their presentations on the improvement work they have done; and then asked me to provide a constructive critique, used Deming’s Lenses of Profound Knowledge, to draw examples from what they presented and to further teach about the theory.
This required me to be very attentive to the details on the day to the learning from the great projects at Somerset Hospital in Cape Town and the systems-wide change at Frere Hospital in East London. The session was a success with a lot of discussion and questions afterwards.
In Mozambique in our joint programme with Irish HSE, Irish Embassy and Irish Aid I went to view the wonderful results of the numerous teams in the improvement collaborative which we have supported. I want to highlight one in particular. At the José Macao hospital in Maputo, they have introduced the Portuguese version of the Clinical Excellence Commission’s Between the Flags system (https://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/patient-safety-programs/adult-patient-safety/between-the-flags) and have seen a reduction in the mortality rate on the test ward by an astonishing 60% since its introduction!
This is an amazing achievement for the teams involved. ISQua began our involvement in Mozambique in August 2016 with a programme of QI training to develop capacity in quality improvement and patient safety methodology, since then over 20 QI initiatives have come to fruition.
I returned to the ISQua mid-year Board meeting which was held in Dublin from 4th – 6th March, amid two feet of snow! The bad weather had a detrimental effect on some of our Board members travelling to Dublin but thanks to video-conferencing we managed to get everyone involved. Wendy discusses the outcome of the retreat in her report and I will give detailed feedback on the outcome of the Board and our new strategic strategies in the next newsletter.
I would like to mention two awards that were presented at the start of the board meeting. Deirdre Burke (ISQua’s Corporate Services Coordinator) and Sinead McArdle (ISQua’s Communication Officer) where both presented with a Long Service Award by Wendy Nicklin in appreciation of their 10 years with ISQua. I am sure you will join me in thanking them for their continuous support and dedication to ISQua.