HIGH-Q: Learning to harness Innovation in Global Health for Quality care – By Michuki Maina
Project title: A study to learn if and how the introduction of new technologies and service delivery innovations improves the quality of care provided in newborn units (NBUs)
Essential technologies and service innovations could improve quality of care if successfully adopted, but these benefits are threatened by workforce shortages and implementation that fails to consider context and system complexity. Thus, many technologies fail, wasting
valuable resources or worsening the quality of care. Our research addresses this critical issue with a focus on the quality of care and user and staff experiences, as hospitals care for sick newborns and introduce new technologies. Specifically, this is a multi-disciplinary evaluation built around an existing programme of technology introduction in 13 Kenyan hospital newborn units. Our work will trace processes the programme team employs to promote technology adoption and track a set of quality of care indicators that may be affected by the introduction of neonatal technologies. In four hospitals, we will also use a specific workforce enhancement intervention and detailed qualitative research, including with staff and family members, to explore how technology adoption and workforce capacity may together
influence care quality and technology adoption. Our research will extend into the post-
discharge period for newborns and their families in two ways. First, by qualitatively
exploring families’ experiences of hospital and how their care continues at home. Second, we will use human-centred design methods to understand how post-discharge care might be better organised and facilitated towards the identification of key aspects for innovations in process or technologies. Lastly, we will tackle cross-cutting issues: the costs of the routine use of the technologies, and the global, national and local governance of technology-related interventions and how these might be improved.
Research questions to be addressed:
1. What influences the use and the effects on care of new technologies introduced into
2. How does the introduction of additional professional nurses and ward assistants to
NBUs affect the quality of care provided?
3. How might we harness innovation and organisational changes to improve follow up
care for babies who have been discharged from the hospitals?
4. What strategies and information do the government and other responsible
organisations use to decide which types of technology and service innovations to
5. What are the cost and budget implications of the introduction of technologies and
additional health workforce?