The Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia created in 2012 a network of hospitals which is specifically set up to improve quality of care. The network, called EHIAQ – Ethiopian Health Institutions Alliance for Quality - brings together all the hospitals in the country. EHIAQ is now on its 3rd round, each on a specific theme: the 1st round in 2012 was all about finding which are the best performing hospitals in the country, based on mortality data and patient satisfaction. Ten lead hospitals made the cut and were matched to a group of five to ten hospitals located nearby to lead by example, share their lessons and best experiences and drive quality improvement in their cluster.
The second round in 2014-2016 focused on maternal, newborn and child health. Fifteen hospitals met the criteria for best performers. The third round started in 2017, on the theme ‘save life through safe surgery’ and this time 31 hospitals came out as leaders of the pack.
For each round, the best performing hospitals received a cash award from the Federal Ministry of Health based not on performance but on quality improvement. Learning is a key driver in EHIAQ, fostered by knowledge sharing, and the incentive of an award, but, says Seman Jakob, CEO of St Peter’s hospital in Addis Ababa, also thanks to strong peer pressure among health workers and the power of interpersonal relations among physicians.
Listen to Seman Jakob, who has been active in EHIAQ since its beginning, on what elements foster quality of care in the EHIAQ network, and how data accuracy is one of the biggest challenges ahead: bit.ly/Ethiopia2-story
Photo: Menderin Girma, 25, Health Extension worker at Wogiti Dera Health Post in Aleltu Woreda, 50 km North East of Addis Ababa, in Oromia region of Ethiopia, in January 2013. © UNICEF/Ose