Using Qualty in Kenya


Photo by Jacaranda Health

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GGG_kenya_flagUsing Quality as a Strategic Differentiator in a Maternity Clinic in Kenya

Jacaranda Health, based in Nairobi, Kenya has a dual mission of providing affordable, high quality maternity services to low-income women while being a laboratory for integrating innovations for maternal health. The organization’s goal is to create a chain of high quality, low cost maternity clinics to provide safe, supportive and patient-centered care to low income women in East Africa and beyond.

Faculty and students at Gillings are designing a quality management system for Jacaranda Health that will continually improve their capacity to deliver reliable, high-quality services at low cost. Read More

Jacaranda Health maternity clinics operate in low income neighborhoods in the Nairobi suburbs and cater to women working in small informal sector businesses such as small stores or hair dressing. As wage earners, these women have the ability to spend small amounts of disposable income for comfort and safety when delivering babies and Jacaranda Health’s business model is to provide these mothers a comfortable delivery experience of a private hospital without their having to incur a large expense.

As a private enterprise, Jacaranda health needs to attract mothers to its clinics. In order to do so, it has to distinguish itself from other clinics that offer similar services.  Jacaranda health has chosen to distinguish itself through enhanced quality in all its operations. Adopting the six aims for quality health care developed by the Institute of Medicine, Jacaranda health aims to be the leader in effective, efficient, safe, timely, and patient centered care.

In order to be able to deliver reliable high quality service at a low cost, Jacaranda Health needs to design optimal clinical and business processes, monitor the performance of the processes regularly and continually look for ways to improve.

The project involves the design and implementation of a Quality Management System (QMS) for Jacaranda Health. The system is primarily based on the Lean management principles of process simplification, elimination of non-value activities, waste reduction and commitment to excellence.  The QMS at Jacaranda health embodies four principles:  (1) emphasizing the mother’s viewpoint of quality; (2) designing, simplifying and standardizing work for consistent and replicable operations; (3) measuring and managing critical metrics that are leading indicators of defects  and poor quality and  (4) engaging leaders and staff to take ownership for monitoring these metrics and continually improving performance .

The output of this project will be a set of tested operational interventions for successful implementation that that will outline the clinical and operational processes, metrics, organizational structure, governance systems and improvement capabilities need to provide consistent, reliable, high quality ante- natal, intrapartum, post-natal and referral services to poor women.

Project Team

  • Rohit Ramaswamy (Principal Investigator)
  • Rotating team of students undertaking practicums in Kenya


Sponsored by: Various sources


  • Jacaranda Maternal Clinics, Kenya

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