SafeCare offers a step-wise programme which applies to a wide range of facilities ranging from general practitioners, primary care facilities, to district hospitals. Healthcare providers begin at a baseline level and as they progress to defined levels of achievement beginning with a safety core and evolving upwards, they are rewarded with certificates of recognition of improvement.
The benefit of this step-wise approach is that it encourages facility staff to continue with quality improvement activities. As the steps are recognised, the data provides concrete evidence of progress to donors corporate clients and governments. Improved performance in participating private facilities means they will attract patients and financial investments. For public facilities benefits include efficient planning of resources and cost saving.
Funders, corporates and governments
Donors and governing bodies are able to use the data collected in the upgrading and quality improvement process about the status quo in individual facilities or across groups of facilities to make strategic and cost-effective decisions about how funds are allocated.
The programme’s continuous evaluation on the progress of compliance with the standards offers an opportunity for such advancement to be directly linked to performance-based finance. In other words, the quality improvement progress provides an evidence-based decision model for funders, governments and banks. For national programs, SafeCare has, for instance, entered into a collaboration with the Kenyan National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as a technical assistance partner for the implementation of SafeCare standards into the NHIF accreditation system to be introduced into healthcare facilities across the country. In Nigeria, SafeCare works with Shell to certify their healthcare facilities.
Facilities and healthcare staff
The introduction of quality and safety standards, improvement processes, training, and infrastructure improvement helps to ensure that facilities make the best use of resources. SafeCare works with technical assistance partners such as K-MET in Kenya and APHFTA in Tanzania to build local capacity. This enables these partners to better guide and facilitate quality improvement in the participating facilities. These interventions will lead to clean, safe and well-organised facilities which, in turn, are more likely to promote a sense of well-being and efficiency among their resident health workers.
Communities and Patients
Healthcare facilities delivering better service and a safe and clean environment will increase the confidence of patients that they will receive appropriate care. Ultimately, they will begin to associate better care with the SafeCare Initiative label and recognise it as a trusted brand. As more and more facilities improve their performance, the community’s health needs will be met.