2012 GHLI Fellow
Our Fellows’ program luckily coincided perfectly with the Over the last four weeks, I have been visited eight of the 15 LEAD hospitals as part of the Ethiopian Hospital Alliance for Quality (EHAQ) -- traveling all four directions out of Addis Ababa to visit different parts of this country.
Each of the hospitals and regions has have unique differences – some are located in the thick of the city, overflowing with patients and their families in tall institutional buildings; others are tucked high into the mountain peaks, many kilometers away from the closest town, and attract rural patients that trek barefoot for hours across the countryside to receive their care. Regardless of location or patient base, each hospital has been identified as a leader in patient satisfaction. Our site visit teams spent a several days investigating the secrets to each hospital’s exemplary service, collecting data, interviewing patients, taking countless pictures, and asking question after question of all relevant staff members.
We have collected a wealth of information – illustrated by the huge stack of documents and full “inbox” on my desk. Somewhere in this huge mass of paperwork there lies key best practices that can be shared across the country to help improve the quality of care. These practices are simple, effective, sustainable and reproducible across all facilities. Our job now is to identify and disperse them through our next Ethiopian specific change package.
These site visits provided me with many opportunities to travel outside of Addis and see the major sights in the country. I was fortunate enough to see the stellae and obelisks of Axum, the castles of Gondar, Lake Tana of Bahirdar, the churches of Lalibela, and I even fed some hyenas in Harar. Through all of this travel and work in the hospitals, I have effectively fallen in love with Ethiopia: the people, the countryside, the cuisine, the strong community feeling. As my time winds down I dread my departure, and know I will undoubtedly return.