Ghana is taking major strides towards achieving Universal Health Coverage target of achieving quality health for all by 2030, as 30 medical professionals have been trained and certified under a global health quality improvement program SafeCare.
SafeCare empowers the progress in care delivery of healthcare providers by helping them measure, monitor and improve their services using innovative solutions.
Its internationally recognized, ISQua accredited standards measure the quality of healthcare provision and provide a staged motivating, technology-powered pathway to sustainable improvement.
The aim of SafeCare is to create significant impact on the quality of healthcare provision at healthcare facilities.
Operated by the PharmAccess Foundation, SafeCare creates transparency for patients, providers, insurers, banks and governments, and acts as a tool for self-regulation and bench-marking.
PharmAccess Foundation is partnering the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) to implement the program.
CHAG, is a network of 330 health provider organizations owned by 25 Christian church denominations that account for an annual 6.5 million patient visits and admissions across the country. CHAG is focused on improving access to health services to poor and remote communities.
These 30 trained and certified healthcare professionals were drawn from member facilities of the Christian Health Association of Ghana. They will be deployed to assess all 330 CHAG hospitals and clinics, and help them on the quality improvement journey and provide Ghanaians quality healthcare.
The SafeCare Country Manager, Bonifacia Benefo Agyei, explained that these professionals from CHAG member facilities have undergone the ISQua-accredited SafeCare Assessor Training to allow them to become certified assessors.
“These trained assessors will be deployed to CHAG facilities to guide hospitals and clinics to improve the quality of care to the 6.5 million Ghanaians who patronize the services” 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 are supposed to support, monitor and influence change in the way quality healthcare is supposed to be delivered.
According to her, PharmAccess 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.
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 mortality rates.
He said this is because there are lapses in the quality of healthcare in Ghana. He is convinced that the SafeCare program with PharmAccess Foundation will lead to improvements in the quality of healthcare delivery and eventually reduce mortality rates in the country.
He said “the SafeCare certification will inspire confidence in patients that they would receive some standardized quality of care in the 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 crisis due to lack of quality standards 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.
He said SafeCare helps providers to attract more patients and enables facilities to self-finance improvements through access to loans. He added that if healthcare providers are to make progress, they require access to capital to upgrade equipment, infrastructure and human resource.