Improving Quality of Health Services
A critical deterrent to acceptance of health services is quality. With regard to gender, MSH works to improve quality of services by sensitizing health workers to recognize and respect the unique needs of women and girls. This also includes developing equitable environments, messages, and services that do not discriminate against clients for any reason and are more inviting to women, girls, and sexual minorities.
MSH’s Improving Performance of Nurses project (funded by USAID for $3.6M over 4 years) worked to build staff capacity across selected hospital and primary care facilities in Egypt. The project supported 28 nurses (all of whom were women as the majority of nurses in Egypt in general are women) through MSH’s “Leadership Development Program” to develop management skills while simultaneously improving quality of health services. Divided into teams, these nurses were tasked with: increasing awareness on separation of dangerous pharmaceuticals for patient safety, improving quality of pre-operative care, increasing understanding around safe handling of syringes and sharp objects, and using correct medical terminology to improve communication and care. Working with and through these teams, MSH successfully increased awareness and application of drug coding and storage from 4.4% to 84%; increased the percentage of nurses applying proper pre-op care procedures from 43% to 92%; decreased incidents of injury from sharp objects from 26% to 5%; and increased the percentage of nurses using correct medical terminology from 25% to 90%—all of which also dramatically improved the hospital’s nurses’ self-esteem.