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Document Abstract
Published: 2002

Overview of quality of care in reproductive health: definitions and measurements of quality

What is quality of care?
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This policy brief from the Population Council and Population Reference Bureau discusses various definitions of quality of care in the context of reproductive health. The brief focuses on a client-centred approach to improving quality of care, where the needs and perspectives of patients are placed at the centre of the concept of quality of care. It discusses several factors that contribute to quality of care including: follow-up and continuity; considering gender relations both in the population service and between providers and clients; considering clients access including distance travelled, the cost of services and the attitudes of providers.

The brief also discusses tools for measuring quality of care and improvements in quality of care. The authors recommend a list of quality care indicators for providers, staff (other than providers), clients, facility. Indicators for clients include: active participation in discussion and selection of method of contraception; receives his/her method of choice; believes the provider will keep his/her information confidential. The brief concludes that increased efforts must be made to understand and motivate providers, improve their performance, and help make them partners in improving access to and quality of family planning and reproductive health care services.

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L. C. Creel; J. V. Sass; N. V. Yinger

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