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Re-imaging quality healthcare delivery in Ghana: 35 CHAG health professionals trained as internationally certified safecare assessors

Ghana is taking major strides towards achieving its Universal Health Coverage (UHC) 2030 agenda; including achieving quality health for all, as 35 medical professionals have been trained and certified under a global health quality improvement program: SafeCare.

  • Mar 04, 2020

Healthcare providers in Ghana often struggle with patient safety, quality demands and have limited data and insights on overall quality. SafeCare empowers the progress in quality care delivery of healthcare providers by helping them measure, rate and improve their services using innovative solutions. Its internationally recognized, ISQua accredited standards measure the quality of healthcare provision and provide a staged, motivating and technology empowered pathway to sustainable improvement. The aim of SafeCare is to create significant impact on the quality of healthcare provision at healthcare facilities in Africa. Operated by the PharmAccess Foundation, SafeCare creates transparency for patients, providers, insurers, banks and governments, and acts as a tool for self-regulation and benchmarking.

PharmAccess Foundation is partnering the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) to implement the program. CHAG, is a network of over 300 health provider organizations owned by 25 Christian church denominations that account for an annual 6.5 million outpatient visits and over half a million inpatient admissions across the country. CHAG is focused on improving access to health services for poor and remote communities.

These 35 trained and certified healthcare professionals were drawn from member facilities of the CHAG. They will be deployed to assess all 330 CHAG hospitals and clinics and help them on the quality improvement journey in order to provide Ghanaians with quality healthcare.

The SafeCare Country Manager, Ms Bonifacia Benefo Agyei, explained that these professionals from CHAG member facilities have undergone the International Society for Quality (ISQua) accredited SafeCare Assessor Training to allow them to become internationally certified assessors. “These trained assessors will be deployed in CHAG facilities to guide hospitals and clinics to improve the client experience and quality of care to the millions of Ghanaians who are served by CHAG health facilities.” Bonifacia added.

She said, “the assessors will be using the SafeCare standards to conduct series of evaluations and measure the performance of the facilities against certain international benchmarks before the facilities are rated.” Furthermore, the assessors will support, monitor and positively influence and change the way healthcare is delivered at CHAG facilities to international best practices. According to her, SafeCare Foundation will use these assessments and improvement activities to build the capacity of facility staff over a period of three years.

The management of the CHAG network, also expect that these practitioners will serve as trainer of trainers. The Deputy Executive Director of CHAG, Dr. James Duah, said though Ghana has been implementing many projects to improve maternal and child health and other healthcare indicators, the country is yet to see significant improvements in overall health indicators. He said, this is because these vertical interventions do not address horizontal system-wide quality challenges of healthcare in Ghana as SafeCare seeks to achieve.

He is convinced that the SafeCare program with SafeCare Foundation will lead to improvement in the quality of healthcare delivery and eventually reduce mortality and morbidity rates in the country. He said “the SafeCare certification will inspire confidence in patients that they would receive standardized quality of care at CHAG facilities.”

One of CHAG’s core values is “option for the poor and the marginalized”. It is therefore expected that through this partnership with SafeCare, the poor who are sometimes plunged into financial catastrophe due to low access to quality healthcare will be well catered for at CHAG facilities.

The Country Director for PharmAccess Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Antwi, emphasized that successful implementation of the CHAG-SafeCare quality improvement program will open the door for other public and private health facilities in the country to benefit from such internationally acclaimed standardized healthcare delivery in partnership with the Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA).

Across sub-Sahara Africa, SafeCare (a member of PharmAccess Group) has over 804 internationally certified assessors who have assessed and rated nearly 5,681 health facilities that attend to over 52 million patients annually.