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Quality Improvement


Improving Care of Mothers and Babies: A guide for improvement teams

Improving Care of Mothers and Babies: A guide for improvement teams is designed for healthcare providers in limited-resource settings who want to learn and apply special methods to improve the care of mothers and babies. It includes information and tools to facilitate implementation of quality improvement (QI) activities at the facility level.

The Guide outlines the process of improvement step-by-step, helping providers plan, test, implement, continuously assess and sustain interventions that enable care to be delivered in the best way possible.  Improving Care of Mothers and Babies can guide those new to improvement methodologies, as well as provide further support to those who have experience implementing and managing improvement projects.  It can be used by a leader or facilitator to help others learn about improvement in both clinical and workshop settings, and can also be used as a self-study manual by improvement teams and individuals.  


Improving Care of Mothers and Babies: A Guide for improvement teamsImproving Care of Mothers and Babies was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Survive & Thrive Global Development Alliance.  

All Improving Care of Mothers and Babies materials – QI Guide, Appendices, Maternal and Newborn Practice Exercises, User Guides, Worksheets, and more – can be accessed and downloaded at no cost on the AAP's International Resources website.  Materials are currently available in English, though French and Spanish translations are underway.

​Integration with Newborn and Maternal Health Education Programs

QI is essential for achieving significant improvements in maternal and newborn health outcomes. Even when providers have the appropriate knowledge and skills, gaps in quality of care still occur. It has become increasingly clear that for practice to change and for health outcomes to improve, education must be delivered within a broader framework that includes QI.  Making improvement a permanent part of a facility's routine is critical to newborn and maternal survival.

For this reason, Improving Care of Mothers and Babies was designed to be highly compatible with the AAP's Helping Babies Survive and Jhpiego's Helping Mothers Survive training programs. This design promotes the critical linkage between the provision of care and QI – providers must have the appropriate skills to care for mothers and babies, as well as the capacity to change service delivery processes that enhance quality and performance. 

​The Guide can be used as a stand-alone tool to build quality improvement capacity and initiate continuous improvement in clinical settings, or it can easily be integrated with other health care training programs.  Improving Care of Mothers and Babies is a practical guide that can help accelerate the use of QI methods in health systems and advance the care of mothers and babies in resource constrained areas around the world. 

​Maternal and Newborn Health Quality Improvement Resources

The tools, information and resources listed below are intended to provide further guidance on applying QI methods to programs and processes. 

Documents, Technical Reports & Guides

A Modern Paradigm for Improving Healthcare Quality
This monograph represents an update on quality improvement methodology, which incorporates the most recent thinking on how to implement improvement.

Improving Quality in Healthcare: A Practical Guide for Health Care Providers
Developed by the USAID ASSIST Project, this guide is designed to help professionals who want to start quality improvement programs in their workplace.

Improving Quality of Basic Newborn Resuscitation in Low-resource Settings: A Framework for Managers and Skilled Birth Attendants
This framework is intended to help managers and skilled birth attendants at all system levels to understand common quality gaps and promising approaches for improving newborn resuscitation in low-resource settings. Also available en Español.

Quality Improvement Training for Team Members and Coaches
The Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP) designed improvement training resources for low literacy audiences, such as community level teams, comprised entirely of discussions, exercises, games and drama.​


Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI)
IHI is a leading innovator, convener, partner, and driver of results in health and health care improvement worldwide, offering a wide variety of resources to help you with your improvement efforts.

NHS Scotland Quality Improvement Hub
The QI Hub website aims to support health and social care staff to use quality improvement approaches as a core part of their work.

USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project
The objective of the ASSIST Project is to improve the quality and outcomes of health care and other services by enabling host country providers and managers to apply the science of improvement.​


USAID ASSIST Project Improving Health Care Quality eLearning Course
This course aims to introduce learners to principles and approaches that can help health care workers continually improve the work that they do. 

NHS Scotland QI e-Learning
This site offers a variety of e-learning resources to support health care workers on their QI learning journey.​


Antenatal corticosteroids for management of preterm birth: a multi-country analysis of health system bottlenecks and potential solution
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2015, 15(Suppl 2), S3; doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-15-S2-S3
Authors: G Liu, J Segrè, A Gülmezoglu, M Mathai, JM Smith, J Hermida, A Simen-Kapeu, P Barker, M Jere, E Moses, SG Moxon, KE Dickson, J E Lawn, F Althabe and Working Group for the UN Commission of Life Saving Commodities Antenatal Corticosteroids

Improving postpartum care for mothers and newborns in Niger and Mali: a case study of an integrated maternal and newborn improvement programme
Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2014, 121(54), 127-133; doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12818
Authors: M Boucar, K Hill, A Coly, S Djibrina, Z Saley, K Sangare, E Kamgang, S Hiltebeitel​

Change ideas for improving maternal and child he​alth 

Changes that Improved Maternal and Neonatal Health in Six States of India
A compilation of ideas that showed success in changing important processes to achieve improvement in services at the state-level in India.

Changes that Improved Newborn Health Services in India
A compilation of ideas that showed success in changing important processes to achieve improvement in services during the neonatal period.

Tested Changes to Improve Maternal and Newborn Care
A synthesis of high-impact, evidence-based changes that resulted in facility-level improvements in the processes and systems of providing maternal and newborn care services in Uganda.