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Towards improved health service quality in Tanzania: an approach to increase efficiency and effectiveness of routine supportive supervision

Renggli, Sabine and Mayumana, Iddy and Mboya, Dominick and Charles, Christopher and Maeda, Justin and Mshana, Christopher and Kessy, Flora and Tediosi, Fabrizio and Pfeiffer, Constanze and Schulze, Alexander and Aerts, Ann and Lengeler, Christian. (2018) Towards improved health service quality in Tanzania: an approach to increase efficiency and effectiveness of routine supportive supervision. PLoS ONE, 13 (9). e0202735.

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Abstract

Effective supportive supervision of healthcare services is crucial for improving and maintaining quality of care. However, this process can be challenging in an environment with chronic shortage of qualified human resources, overburdened healthcare providers, multiple roles of district managers, weak supply chains, high donor fragmentation and inefficient allocation of limited financial resources. Operating in this environment, we systematically evaluated an approach developed in Tanzania to strengthen the implementation of routine supportive supervision of primary healthcare providers. The approach included a systematic quality assessment at health facilities using an electronic tool and subsequent result dissemination at council level. Mixed methods were used to compare the new supportive supervision approach with routine supportive supervision. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews in three councils. Observational data and informal communication as well as secondary data complemented the data set. Additionally, an economic costing analysis was carried out in the same councils. Compared to routine supportive supervision, the new approach increased healthcare providers' knowledge and skills, as well as quality of data collected and acceptance of supportive supervision amongst stakeholders involved. It also ensured better availability of evidence for follow-up actions, including budgeting and planning, and higher stakeholder motivation and ownership of subsequent quality improvement measures. The new approach reduced time and cost spent during supportive supervision. This increased feasibility of supportive supervision and hence the likelihood of its implementation. Thus, the results presented together with previous findings suggested that if used as the standard approach for routine supportive supervision the new approach offers a suitable option to make supportive supervision more efficient and effective and therewith more sustainable. Moreover, the new approach also provides informed guidance to overcome several problems of supportive supervision and healthcare quality assessments in low- and middle income countries.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Health Interventions > Malaria Interventions (Lengeler)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Society, Gender and Health > Gender and Health (Zemp Stutz)
UniBasel Contributors:Renggli, Sabine and Tediosi, Fabrizio and Pfeiffer, Constanze Dorothee D. and Lengeler, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
e-ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:05 Oct 2018 12:02
Deposited On:05 Oct 2018 12:02

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