SQCpack gets around. Used in every industry sector, from health care to manufacturing and education, it also finds itself on nearly every continent. During its history, it has been hard at work in broccoli fields in Mexico and coal mines in Australia, and on every kind of shop floor in between.
Now it’s being used in the education of health care workers in Uganda—and proud of its contribution to improved health care in critical areas of Africa. Students in the program are from Zambia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Mozambique, as well as Uganda, so its reach is broad.
Jolee Reinke, as senior QA advisor, is a key player in the Quality Assurance Project, a USAID-funded activity implemented by the Center for Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland that is focused on helping developing countries’ ministries of health to institutionalize quality assurance. She works with the Regional Centre for Quality of Health Care (RCQHC) at Makerere University in Kampala, where the mission is to promote the adoption of better practices in critical areas of health care and support services in Africa. The focus is on countries in eastern, central, and southern Africa.
"Better practices" are defined as those that are effective, are institutionalized in Africa, have measured positive results, and are likely to be replicable. Topic areas of concern are health interventions of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, child health, and infectious diseases. Almost all countries in the African region have begun the process of starting Quality of Care Programs. USAID’s Regional Economic and Services Office (REDSO) is committed to shifting responsibility to local African institutions, and this process is well underway in Uganda.
With attention to capacity building in health care, the centre offers educational programs to support ongoing training in the above-named areas, as well as a post-graduate diploma program in quality of health care management. This is where SQCpack comes in. Reinke uses the software to support student learning in the post-grad diploma program. After 17 weeks of classroom-based work in Kampala, students will return to their home countries and each will implement a project related to one of the topic areas. They might, for example, develop a program plan for presumptive treatment of malaria in pregnancy, or a quality improvement of compliance with standards in the care of patients with eclampsia.
Reinke has been responsible for teaching the QA portion of the course, and anticipates that the SQCpack will help to develop student skills in interpretation of Pareto, histogram, and control charts. As instructor, Reinke will use examples in the text to teach students how to do data display and analysis and "stretch their brains" about how to answer questions about quality of health care. Total Quality Tools for Health Care, a component of PQ Systems’ Total Quality Transformation® training materials, forms the basis for Reinke’s classroom health care examples and problems.
With the challenge of building capacity to improve the quality of health care in Africa, leaders at Uganda’s Regional Centre for Quality of Health Care have their work cut out for them. SQCpack is doing its part to support this critical labor.