Since 2009, The Ihangane Project, University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and Ruli District Hospital have worked together to identify ways to improve patient care by streamlining the health care infrastructure designed to serve them. Our updated webpage highlights the wonderful work of this collaboration!
At the core of this collaboration is the concept that communication flows are the cornerstone for good health care. Whether it is information flowing between the health care provider and patient, or between health centers and the referral hospital, it is crucial to understand the information that currently flows throughout the system so that we can work together to improve efficiency and minimize bottlenecks. This summer, 2013 William Davidson Institute Fellow Anna Chan, will work to better understand the information flows between rural community members, Community Health Workers, and Health Centers. In addition, she will work on a community-based survey to identify factors for self-efficacy amongst community members with children under 5 years of age. Stay tuned for more!
In March 2012, TIP collaborated with the William Davidson Institute to bring a Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP) Team to work with Ruli District Hospital and their associated health centers. The team spent 4 weeks building upon last year's University of Michigan Ross School of Business team's recommendations to develop a communication system that will improve the flow of patients referred to the hospital from throughout the rural catchment area of Ruli District Hospital. Based upon initial recommendations, the Ministry of Health initiated a simple system that would allow the hospital to more reliably predict outpatient referrals from health centers. This improves the efficiency for hospital outpatient services, and improves the the patient experience by decreasing wait times and minimizing the risk of coming to the hospital without being seen by a physician. The MAP team worked with the hospital and health centers to assess the implementation of this new system, including current work flows, to determine areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In June, a WDI Fellow will spend 3 months working with Ruli District Hospital to assess and implement recommendations, as well as field test the recommendations and survey stakeholders for their input. Once recommendations have been fine-tuned and field tested, they will be expanded to all health center/district hospital service areas throughout Rwanda. This is a great example of how on-the-ground assessments, stakeholder interviews, and collaborative design can improve health system efficiency and provide a positive impact on patient care!