Appropriate innovation will be spread through QUALMAT in three ways:
- Information technology for Maternal and Newborn Care (MNC)
The use of computers in district level management and particularly for the health information systems is well established in the partner countries. However, IT has not yet been used to support and improve clinical decisions on health care in general and maternal and neonatal care in particular. The project will push the reach of IT forward to first and second line MNC services. Introducing computers into MNC has obvious positive externalities for health services at large, for example computers can be used for financial or stock management in maternity units and dispensaries or for reporting. While not new to the study districts, the systematic use for health care, particularly in the case of MNC of communicating emergency referrals thus saving time e.g. for setting up operating facilities or obtaining blood transfusions. Cell phone use will be integrated with the computer-assisted clinical decision support system (CDSS).
- State of the Art decision support systems
While such systems have gained an increasing role in health care delivery in Europe and other industrialized countries, they are uncommon in developing countries. This is all the more surprising, as the standardization of health care procedures is well advanced than these countries, particularly in maternal and neonatal care. This is mainly due to the strong effort and influence of WHO.
- Pioneering incentive systems
All innovations will be rigorously analysed for cost implications contained by available resources from national and donor sources within each study district and the subsequent effect they have on the effectiveness of MNC. These innovative interventions mutually reinforce each other.