Since the two companies began collaborating last year COHSASA has signed up 24 facilities and established a national call centre for reporting of incidents (medical errors).
COHSASA is the leading provider of quality improvement services in sub-Saharan Africa and has helped some 470 facilities to meet and maintain quality standards.
It ran concurrently with the overall hospital developments under the COHSASA accreditation process and provided an excellent example of how the accreditation process feeds into postgraduate training programmes.
The COHSASA experience at UAH confirms that many favourable changes are brought about by the accreditation process.
COHSASA has been working with representatives of the Trauma Society of South Africa and the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa (EMSSA) as well as EMS representatives from the Western Cape and the Free State to ensure that the contents meet the requirements of professional societies and users.
Enquiries: Marilyn Keegan, COHSASA, tel (021) 531-4225/6/7.
Erwin Schella, Professor of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch and a COHSASA board member, said the idea behind what will be called the SafeCare Institute was to become the leading international think-tank for safe health care in resource-restricted settings.
COHSASA has worked in over 530 facilities in both the public and private sector in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Rwanda, Nigeria and Zambia over the past 16 years.
Three bodies, COHSASA
, the United States-based Joint Commission International (JCI) and the PharmAccess Foundation of the Netherlands, have combined their resources and skills to do this, beginning in sub-Saharan Africa.
collaboration ended this March after two years of ad hoc consultation in which the relationship grew increasingly strained over COHSASA
CEO Professor Stuart Whittaker's insistence on specific standards of measurement and training.
Nurses trained and employed by COHSASA
as data co-ordinators take callers (who are ensured confidentiality) through a 7-10-minute scientific drop-down menu list of questions about each adverse incident.
So far, six of the nine individual provinces have taken their own initiative, hiring COHSASA
to assist with the improvement of hospitals.