Caring Together is an innovative approach to improving health worker performance, leading to better service delivery and more satisfied patients. Developed by Baylor-Uganda, with the support of Pepal (UK) and Janssen Pharmaceutica, Caring Together has been tested, refined and rolled out in 270 health facilities in Uganda, with funding from Comic Relief (UK). Initiated in March 2015, the project covered a population of 4.4 million, across sixteen districts in the Eastern and Rwenzori regions. It is due to be completed in March 2018, with the final project results launched at the International Leadership in Healthcare Summit on 25-26 April 2018.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING FOR HEALTH SYSTEM STRENGTHENING
The Caring Together project trains health workers as mentors, empowering them to deliver leadership training at their allocated health facilities. They establish long-term mentorship relationships with mentees centred on action plans for improvements staff can make in their own facilities. The project also aims to improve the use of performance management within the health facilities and wider districts.
Focusing on skills like communication, teamwork, time management, and conflict resolution, and utilising tools like monthly meetings books and patient waiting cards, Caring Together addresses operational leadership gaps at health facilities. Over the course of the three years, 83 mentors, 16 DHTs and 270 In-Charges have been trained.
Through such interventions, patient waiting times at Caring Together facilities have been reduced from an average of 61 to 38 minutes per patient, saving about 2 million hours annually. Concurrently, patient satisfaction has been increased at these facilities, with 61% more likely to be satisfied with their care.
By increasing staff motivation and equipping health workers with skills and methods to address service delivery challenges, the motivation and functionality of 270 health facilities have been improved. Consequently, patients now receive a better service and are more likely to return for further care, improving health outcomes.
An academic study, led by Baylor-Uganda and Makerere University, supported by Janssen Pharmaceutica, is being carried out to evaluate the Caring Together pilot in Uganda. The research will also provide case studies and a more in depth understanding of health worker and patient satisfaction.
Baylor-Uganda is engaging with district leaders, the Ministry of Health and international development partners, to discuss lessons learned and to explore how the Caring Together approach can be applied to other health challenges. The results from the pilot will be shared in published articles and at the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare.
THE INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON LEADERSHIP IN HEALTHCARE
Hosting high profile plenary speakers, world class researchers, donor panels and poster presentations, this exciting, two-day international event on 25-26 April at Mestil Hotel, Kampala, will gather together some of the foremost thinkers on leadership in healthcare from around the world. Hosted by Baylor-Uganda, with support from Pepal and Janssen Pharmaceutica, the summit will showcase Caring Together alongside leadership innovations from national and international implementing partners and donors for improving health service delivery.
THE BAYLOR LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
The Baylor Leadership Academy will be launched at the summit on 26 April. Caring Together leadership training will be provided through the Academy to all donors, implementing partners, training institutions and health workers in Uganda.