In an effort to improve access to quality healthcare in health facilities, and accelerating towards achieving the 95-95-95 goal of ending HIV/AIDS, Centre for Infections Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has trained 27 health workers in patient centered care for HIV infected patients in Lusaka and Chongwe to improve the patients and health care workers experience at the health facility.
In her opening remarks, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Izukanji Sikazwe, said the model is part of research studies aimed at helping health workers better understand patient needs, “we want to engage with our patients and try to better understand what the patients are looking for from us and how we can respond to them by providing health services to them and serving them better at the healthy facility. I encourage you all to feel free to participate, ask questions where you are not clear and let’s have an interaction on how we can work better at the facilities and how we can serve the patients better.”
The five day training focuses on the development of an innovative public health Patient Experience Management System (PPEMS) which creates a health platform to bring the patient experience into a routine program data and to create a combined and scalable intervention package to improve retention and viral-logical suppression across both differentiated and other models of care in Zambia.
Speaking during the training, CIDRZ Patient Centred Care (PCC) Lead Clinical Mentor, Monica Mwachande, told participants that “solutions have been brought out to improve HIV quality and achieve the HIV 95-95-95 goal by working on the relationship between health care workers and patients. Improving communication between patients and health care workers in order to avoid any occurrences of misunderstandings which could lead to the health workers mishandling situations is very important. Patients should feel comfortable to participate in interactions for a clearer understanding.”
She added, “health workers should show empathy to the patients and shouldn’t be quick to give inappropriate responses, as it chases patients away. Health care givers must coordinate with other departments by practicing team work at the facility to insure that the patients procedures from different departments move smoothly and collection of medications and access to their lab records is properly done.”