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QAP’s Pioneering Work Published in ISQua Journal Supplement
by Cynthia Young, Senior Writer

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The International Journal for Quality in Health Care (IJQHC) recently published the 110-page journal supplement, “Quality Assurance in Low and Middle Income Countries: Experiences from the Quality Assurance Project.”  The special issue is devoted to the Quality Assurance Project’s (QAP) formative work in improving the quality of healthcare in lower- and middle-income countries. The articles illustrate how quality assurance (QA) approaches can be effectively utilized, especially in countries with differing needs and circumstances. University Research Co., LLC is the first organization to publish a supplement by this respected journal.

The Volume 14, December 2002 Supplement presents the results of the project’s operations research studies, evaluations of country QA programs, and methodology refinement efforts. The issue contains 11 peer-reviewed papers written by QAP staff and collaborators.

The Research Study Reports section of the supplement contains six articles highlighting original research designed to answer specific questions about the effectiveness of diverse QA approaches. Articles include: “Implementing a national hospital accreditation program: the Zambia experience,” by Ngoyi Bukonda and Paula Tavrow (co-first authors), et al.; “Methods for assessing quality of provider performance in developing countries,” by Lynne Miller Franco, et al.; “Increasing compliance with maternal and child care quality standards in Ecuador,” by Jorge Hermida, et al.; “The role of research in developing job aids for pneumonia treatment in Niger,” by Wendy Newcomer Edson, et al.; “Distance education with tutoring improves diarrhea case management in Guatemala,” by Rafael Flores, et al.; and “Measuring the quality of supervisor-provider interactions in health care facilities in Zimbabwe,” by Paula Tavrow, et al.

The section on Methodological Approaches describes QAP’s work in developing new approaches to QA program institutionalization and evaluation. Two articles are featured: “A framework for institutionalizing quality assurance,” by Diana Silimperi et al., and “The evaluation of quality assurance: developing and testing practical methods for managers,” by Tessie Tzavaras Catsambas, et al.

The section on Evaluation of Country Quality Assurance Programs reports results and draws lessons from QA program evaluations in Chile, Zambia, and Niger. Articles include: “The Chilean legacies in health care quality,” by Stephane Legros, et al.; “The Zambia Quality Assurance Program: successes and challenges,” by Bruno Bouchet, et al.; and “Evaluation of the Quality Assurance Project and BASICS Joint Project in Niger,” by Stephane Legros, et al.

 “We believe that the results reported in the IJQHC Supplement will add to the evidence base necessary for the design and maintenance of effective programs to improve the quality of care in all countries,” said David Nicholas, QAP Director, and Diana Silimperi, QAP Deputy Director, who served as Guest Editors for the special issue. “Many of these programs, studies, and approaches are relevant for other countries, regardless of their level of development or financial resources,” they noted.

The Table of Contents and article abstracts of the Volume 14 Supplement 1 of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care can be viewed online at: http://intqhc.oupjournals.org/content/vol14/suppl_1/index.shtml

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The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.