STATE OF HEALTHCARE QUALITY AND PATIENT SAFETY IN PAKISTAN
Many low and middle income countries have developed their own national accreditation standards and accreditation systems for regulating and improving the quality of healthcare services. Healthcare quality is deï¬ned as the degree to which health services to individuals and populations increases the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. This paper attempts to assess the state of Pakistan's healthcare quality and patient safety in a structured way using Donabedian's model. Some of the key speciï¬c challenges identiï¬ed for Pakistan's healthcare quality initiatives are lack of national healthcare accreditation system and integrated national guidelines, policies and procedures on healthcare quality and patient safety. Lack of national quality care indicators. Absence of an organizational culture that holds people accountable and lack of pre-service and in-service training for health staff in quality care management and leadership with little contextual research on quality care initiatives. Possible ways to improve the state of health care quality in Pakistan may include (i) up gradation and implementation of policies and procedures that regulate quality and patient safety issues in healthcare settings across the country (ii) introduction of a national healthcare accreditation programme across the nation (iii) development of networks and consortia between public and private sectors in Pakistan (iv) capacity building of health care professionals in quality and patient safety (v) Formulation of quality improvement teams at national and provincial level (vi) development of a culture of accountability and ownership (vii) learning from experiences of other countries and implementation quality care tools and locally validated indicators.