Monitoring of secondary hospitals to improve patient care

Published March 2, 2021
The health department is starting monitoring of the quality of services provided to patients at secondary healthcare facilities in the province. — Photo by Sirajuddin/File
The health department is starting monitoring of the quality of services provided to patients at secondary healthcare facilities in the province. — Photo by Sirajuddin/File

PESHAWAR: The health department is starting monitoring of the quality of services provided to patients at secondary healthcare facilities in the province.

“The performance of the tehsil and district level will be judged on the basis of the standard of services provided to the patients. The exercise is aimed at improving services,” officials told this scribe.

They said that so far, the independent monitoring unit (IMU) of the health department was monitoring the hospitals with emphasis on primary healthcare facilities.

Officials said that IMU briefed the director-general health services through presentations to on monthly basis regarding the performance of primary healthcare facilities with little mention of secondary services.

They said that the keep performance indicators (KPIs) were re-notified with emphasis on coverage of health facilities on the basis of outputs as opposed to previous practices when it recorded inputs, such as presence and availability of human resources, medicines, diagnostics, equipments, building etc.

Visiting inspectors will ascertain patients’ level of satisfaction

“Now, IMU has been tasked to comprehensively report on the performance of secondary level health services in different districts,” they said. They added that work was completed and training of staff was underway prior to piloting Peshawar district for initial implementation of the output-based KPIs.

“There will be regular monitoring of secondary healthcare facilities by inspectors, who will talk to patients to know about their level of satisfaction from services. There will be frequent visits by IMU staffers to the hospitals,” said officials.

They said that government wanted to utilise the vast health infrastructure with 50,000 employees for strengthening the secondary healthcare services to benefit the people in their native districts and reduce burden on the tertiary care hospitals that were supposed to receive chronically-ill people.

There are 2,612 healthcare facilities in the province including 1,504 in settled and 1,103 in tribal districts but patients directly visit the tertiary hospitals for the ailments, which are manageable in secondary hospitals.

Officials said that the hospitals including A, B, C and D categories were secondary care facilities that played significant role in patient care when they performed well.

They said that most of those hospitals had specialised services and equipment. They added that the KPIs would help them to know the gaps in services.

“During the visits, monitors would report about the patients’ confidence and standard of diagnostic and clinical aspects. The exercise, to be replicated in the whole province very soon, is meant to strengthen secondary healthcare facilities for the local people,” said officials.

They said that through a mechanism, IMU would concentrate on waste management, infection control measures and treatment of patients.

They added that IMU would continue to monitor primary healthcare facilities along with secondary care hospitals.

Also, it will be seen if some facilities have low admission and OPD rate. Such hospitals will be pointed and the department will take corrective measures.

The under-utilised health outlets or those situated away from the population would be identified along with recommendations.

“The component of quality has been added to the IMU’s criteria for monitoring the hospitals. Now, a proper framework has been made with revised KPIs to strengthen secondary healthcare services,” said officials.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021

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