Dr. Donan W Mmbando, Chief Medical Officer MOHSW: ‘The journey towards a more focused and coordinated quality improvement effort in health facilities has started.’
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) Tanzania has recently distributed a new set of national guidelines for stepwise certification leading to accreditation. The guidelines are based on the SafeCare methodology, laying out a step-wise quality improvement journey for dispensaries, health centers and district hospitals towards national accreditation. These guidelines are a result of the close collaboration between PharmAccess, SafeCare and the MOHSW through a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Foundation funded program.
‘The need for an accreditation system has been observed since 2004 and we are working towards having an efficient accreditation system in place by 2017. To fulfill this aim, we have now adopted the SafeCare stepwise improvement guidelines. The certification will recognize incremental achievements of health facilities towards meeting the set standards, and can be used by all primary level facilities. The ministry is kindly requesting all stakeholders to support the efforts towards establishing an accreditation system in the country,’ says Charles A. Pallanyo, Permanent Secretary MOHSW.
Working towards a national accreditation system
The publication of the guideline marks an important step towards the goal of establishing a national accreditation system for all Tanzanian health facilities by 2017. Most importantly it shows the firm commitment of the MOHSW to quality improvement and leveraging resources to support accreditation. These advances have the potential to dramatically change the landscape of quality assurance in Tanzania.
Through a holistic approach, SafeCare supports the MOHSW in working towards their 2017 target. The collaboration includes technical assistance supporting effective implementation of quality improvement activities. SafeCare also assists in training surveyors to assess health facilities, developing quality improvement plans for health facilities according to these new guidelines, and providing tools for data collection and analysis.
Charles A Pallangyo, Permanent Secretary MOHSW: ‘It is important to document care outcomes in the course of the implementation so that we can vividly see the impact of the accreditation in our context. The MOHSW will work to ensure that rigorous evidence collection is done on its impact … and use the evidence to continue leveraging resources to support accreditation.’
SafeCare is the trusted partner of four African governments, supporting them in formulating, focusing and coordinating their quality improvement efforts. The vision is to place the topic of safe healthcare provision high on the agenda in resource-restricted settings in order to improve the quality of care offered.