The Quality Assurance Project's strengthened the quality of healthcare in developing and middle income countries, in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Bureau for Global Health and country Missions.
The Quality Assurance Project was managed by University Research Co., LLC (URC), a professional services firm dedicated to helping clients use scientific methods and research findings to improve program management, operations, and outcomes. Since 1965, URC, with its non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), has served government and private sector clients in the areas of communications & outreach, education & training, health & population, quality management, and research & evaluation.
QAP as prime contractor worked in partnership with Initiatives Inc., a Boston-based firm experienced in human resource management and health program quality improvement; Joint Commission Resources, Inc., the consulting arm of the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, based in Oakbrook, Il; and ENCOMPASS, LLC a Bethesda, MD-based firm that worked closely with URC on the Quality Assurance Project, making important technical contributions to the evaluation and documentation of improvement collaboratives.
Technical Assistance and Services
Institutionalization of Quality Assurance
The project provided technical support in applying modern quality assurance (QA) strategies on a large scale as an integral component of the system of healthcare at the national, regional or local level. Major areas of assistance included development of quality standards, improving compliance with standards, quality improvement, quality monitoring, accreditation and other regulatory strategies, and redesign of systems of care.
Short-term Technical Assistance
The project supported international and developing country health organizations to apply QA and human resource management (HRM) approaches through short-term technical assistance. Areas of assistance included design of QA interventions and programs, quality of care assessments, training in specific QA and HRM topics, evaluation of QA programs, and the delivery of introductory seminars on QA and HRM for policymakers.
As a recognized leader in operations research to improve health outcomes, QAP conducted applied research to adapt QA and HRM approaches to the needs of developing countries. We provided technical support in a spectrum of research methodologies, including intervention studies, descriptive research, pilot demonstration projects, time-series designs, program evaluation, cost-effectiveness analysis, and qualitative methods. For information on research activities, see Operations Research.
The project assisted national service delivery and training institutions and non-governmental organizations to develop capacity to apply QA methods to improve provider performance and healthcare quality. The project developed customized training applications and uses sustainable training strategies, including pre-service training, on-the-job learning, and distance learning.
The project developed and evaluated computer-based learning tools to support improvement in healthcare quality. QAP developed computer-based learning products for the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), Tuberculosis Case Management, and The Quality Assurance Theory and Tools Kit. For information on our work in computer-based learning, see CD-ROMs.