Quality of care and patient safety programme

The quality orientation requires procedures to evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of preventive, supportive, and curative interventions. There must be strong leadership so that the process is safe and sustainable.

The quality of care actions is based on 6 strategies:

-Introduce and strengthen the culture of evaluation, continuous improvement, and patient safety among professionals.

-Identify national leaders who act proactively and perform actions related to the quality of care and patient safety.

-Involve the governmental and managerial levels, as well as the levels of execution, in quality.

-Conduct interdisciplinary work.

-Promote the active participation of professionals in management of quality.

-Include participation by the patient, family, and the community in decision-making and promotion of self-care.


AHO believes that quality of care including patient safety is an aspect of health care essential for attaining national health objectives, improving the health of the population, and ensuring the sustainability of the health system. However, despite the efforts of governments, major challenges in quality persist in the more developed and developing countries alike

This document proposes five strategic lines of action for improving the quality of health care and patient safety, with emphasis on the most vulnerable population groups. It also proposes the creation of a regional quality observatory to monitor the preparation of a consensus-based regional quality strategy.

 The quality care and patient safety strategy should cover the health care continuum, including patients, family members, and communities, and target the most vulnerable population groups and the priority health issues. Its development will require an exhaustive situation analysis and regional consultative process. For this purpose, the following strategic lines of action have been defined:


(a) Make the quality of health care and patient safety sectoral priorities:

(i) political dialogue with national authorities to make quality and patient safety part of sectoral policies and health sector reform processes;

(ii) active participation and advocacy in global and regional forums;

(iii) signing of political commitments for action.

(iv) identification and orientation of leaders—“ambassadors”—for quality and safety in health care;

(v) advocacy to include quality and patient safety in the curriculum for training health workers.


(b) Promote citizen participation in matters related to quality:

(i) Encourage the promotion and protection of the rights and responsibilities of patients and health professionals in the areas of quality in health care and patient safety, including the respect for privacy, confidentiality, and the integrity of the person;

(ii) Use of tools for evaluating user satisfaction with the health services;

(iii) Encourage the creation and strengthening of citizen initiatives to improve quality and patient safety, as well as their links with decision-makers, managers, and professional societies;


(c) Generate information and evidence on quality:

(i) Production and pilot testing of a tool for measuring quality and patient safety in health centres

(ii) Compile information with evidence on quality and patient safety and make it available through virtual media;

(iii) Develop and encourage priority lines of research:

– status of quality initiatives through a literature review and survey of key informants (anticipated publication of results;

– patient safety – effectiveness of hand-washing solutions

strategy for the prevention of kernicterus, and retinopathy prevention in premature infants


(d) Develop, adapt, and support the application of solutions in the field of quality:

(i) Compile and disseminate existing material, models, and tools for improving quality based on evidence, including continuous improvement and quality assurance models, formation in clinical management, in addition to the publication of a manual of methodologies for quality and safety in health care and specific manuals on hospital infections;

(ii) Compile, develop, and disseminate solutions based on new information technologies that improve the quality of care, such as, for example, information systems on the quality situation and patient safety, electronic clinical histories, telemedicine applications, etc.

(iii) Train in the use of quality models and instruments through online courses, on-site training activities


AHO Programme of action

AHO proposes the following lines of action:

  1. Position QCPS as sectoral priority: Work will be conducted with the governments, presenting the health benefits of implementation of quality of care and patient safety supported by evidence-based scientific studies and economic analyses.
  2. Promote community participation: Information and knowledge will be provided to patients and the family in order to produce active participation in decision-making and empowerment to achieve the expected results.
  3. Generate information and evidence with regard to quality: Evaluation and research studies to seek evidence will be promoted and supported. Work will be conducted on preparation of training programs, providing health professionals with knowledge in order to orient the health services towards QCPS.
  4. Develop, adapt, and support quality solutions: Collaborate in compilation, circulation, solution-finding, quality tools and models in order to improve and implement the national programs. Promote the sharing of experiences among the countries of Africa. Implementation of good practices and continuous improvement will be favoured by monitoring care-related patient events (e.g., nosocomial infections, medication errors, diagnostic errors).
  5. Develop a regional strategy to strengthen the quality of health care and patient safety with a 10 year horizon. The program will work through operational plans in countries and groups of countries in collaboration with agencies and organizations, according to the strategic proposals described above.