SafeCare needs a lot of commitment, but you feel like you’re in another world. It makes you feel like a professional.Ann Maina CEO, Uhai Neema
Located on a bustling commercial road of Nairobi, St. Patrick Health Care Centre is one of the go-to healthcare centers for Kenyans living in the area. Ann Maina opened St. Patrick with her husband Patrick in 2002. Ann is a nurse by profession, with over 20 years of working experience in private practice. They joined SafeCare in early 2012.
The assessment was an eye-opener for St. Patrick. ‘’We were not running the facility in the right way,” Ann explains. “We had no administration office, no systems.
SafeCare helped us to establish our gaps and set in motion interventions to improve ourselves. Now, our record keeping is accurate, we have audited accounts and a digital client history that can be accessed at any time.
Next to identifying gaps, SafeCare provided St. Patrick with practical tools, solutions and technical support, including on access to finance.
Shortly after joining SafeCare, St. Patrick obtained a loan as well as business training through the Medical Credit Fund (MCF). The experience St. Patrick gained in qualifying for their first loan was instrumental in building a financially sound organization. “Through the training and on-site support, we learned how to draft a business plan and what documents to deliver to the bank.” They repaid their first loan within six months; the clinic’s improved track record and financial management enabled them to secure Ksh 5 million (USD 50,000) loan from a bank to invest in further expansion of the facility.
The quality improvement path
“When the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) used to visit us for an evaluation, we never knew what they were looking for and we didn’t know how to improve. After we started SafeCare and the NHIF visited us again, it was a whole new story’’. St. Patrick became NHIF accredited, ensuring a bigger client and income flow. Patient visits have risen from almost 600 to more than 2000 a month, especially now that they have also managed to contract corporate clients and private medical insurance companies. “SafeCare has helped us to reposition ourselves and increase our market value,” Ann says.
Continuing the journey
In terms of risk management, Ann explains that her staff has learned about things like infection control and the importance of hand washing.
We used to throw away needles in the regular bin. Now we have a waste management system: we separate different types of waste in color-coded bins and we have an incinerator for clinical waste.
She has made a point of sharing knowledge with the community. Her facility now has health campaigns to educate people about hygiene and organizes events for pregnant women to share experiences.
While St. Patrick started with just a one-story building, construction is underway to start offering services on the third floor. The second floor now houses a dentist’s office, an ultrasound and a lab to include a broad range of tests. They also progressed from being predominantly cash-based to accepting more modes of payment like ATM cards, Visa and M-TIBA. The next step is installing an operating theater. “Our female clients want to give birth here because they feel at home, but they would feel more assured if we had a theater.” Ann is eager to continue improving quality of care and reach Level 5.