Unifying Staff for Improved Systems and Services

Staff members at Chongwe District Hospital were frustrated. There was a disconnect between leadership and staff, with issues ranging from human resources to financial and equipment management to linen supply.

Then the Chongwe Medical Officer in Charge, Hospital Administrator and the Assistant Human Resource Management Officer participated in the Management Leadership Academy, and it changed the course for the hospital staff.

The MLA program participants set a vision for the hospital – “to provide equal access of quality health care to our community in a clean environment by competent, motivated staff” – and then communicated that vision to all staff members. From there, staff members committed to working toward a central vision, and many even formulated individual work plans tied to that vision.

The MLA participants also learned how to utilize the little available resources effectively and efficiently by setting priorities for the hospital. Working in collaboration with newly-formed staff committees, the team identified the root causes of problems as well as solutions. They prioritized privacy for female patients and storage area organization as two problems that could immediately improve hospital services and the patient experience without significant financial investment.

Privacy screens were installed in the female ward. And, despite a lack of shelves, the storage area was organized according to expiration date, using stock control cards and physical inventory. A storage officer was appointed to maintain regular inventory, giving the hospital a clear understanding monthly consumptions. Resources are now being utilized according to an action plan, and staff members have a clear focus on their role – all improving hospital services for better patient outcomes.