Emilia Ling, Researcher: Part 2. Our progress to date and current HQSS challenges

By HQSS researcher and communications lead, Emilia Ling

Since completing Bootcamp, HQSS Commissioners and the research secretariat have kept busy. In addition to hosting the HQSS Inception Meeting in March, we have begun our work on quality description, measurement, improvement, and ethics and equity. Across these four areas, we have focused our work on health conditions and service platforms outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The field of health care quality is vast, and focusing our scope and topics of interest have helped give shape – and boundaries – to our work. Now that we’ve set our parameters, we’ve begun our work on Commission analyses.

As a Commission researcher, I am most interested in understanding how quality of care affects health care utilization and patient satisfaction. To study this, I am working with facility and household data from nationally-representative datasets from low and middle income countries. My fellow Commission researchers are also using such datasets to ask related quality questions.

Discerning our scope, defining our focus, and developing meaningful research questions has been no easy task. But our newest Commission challenge has been finding datasets that we can use to ask and answer our research questions. We’ve been able to use SPA, SARA, and DLHS datasets to describe RMNCH quality, but we’re struggling to find similar, publicly accessible datasets for health conditions and platforms like mental health, injury, and cancer. Demonstrating depth and breadth in our Commission work has proven to be difficult.

To all our HQSS followers, if you know of any nationally representative datasets that we could potentially work with, please let us know on our Call for Indicators and Data sources page. We’re more than happy to collaborate with research groups that aren’t currently linked with the Commission. Please reach out!