Background Patient safety is recognised as a significant healthcare problem worldwide, and healthcare-associated infections are an important aspect. African Partnerships for Patient Safety is a WHO programme that pairs hospitals in Africa with hospitals in Europe with the objective to work together to improve patient safety.
Objective To describe the development of an evaluation framework for hospital-to-hospital partnerships participating in the programme.
Methods The framework was structured around the programme's three core objectives: facilitate strong interhospital partnerships, improve in-hospital patient safety and spread best practices nationally. Africa-based clinicians, their European partners and experts in patient safety were closely involved in developing the evaluation framework in an iterative process.
Results The process defined six domains of partnership strength, each with measurable subdomains. We developed a questionnaire to measure these subdomains. Participants selected six indicators of hospital patient safety improvement from a short-list of 22 based on their relevance, sensitivity to intervention and measurement feasibility. Participants proposed 20 measures of spread, which were refined into a two-part conceptual framework, and a data capture tool created.
Conclusion Taking a highly participatory approach that closely involved its end users, we developed an evaluation framework and tools to measure partnership strength, patient safety improvements and the spread of best practice.
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