oa African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Driving hospital transformation with SLMTA in a regional hospital in Cameroon : original research

Volume 5 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Inspired by the transformation of the Regional Hospital Buea laboratory through implementation of the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme, hospital management adapted the SLMTA toolkit to drive hospital-wide quality improvement.

This paper describes changes in the hospital following the quality improvement activities in hygiene and sanitation, the outpatient waiting area and the surgical and maternity wards.
In March 2011, hospital management established a quality improvement task force and created a hospital-wide quality improvement roadmap, following the SLMTA model. The roadmap comprised improvement projects, accountability plans, patient feedback forms and log books to track quality indicators including patient wait time, satisfaction level, infection rates, birth outcomes and hospital revenue.
There was steady improvement in service delivery during the 11 months after the introduction of the quality improvement initiatives: patient wait time at the reception was reduced from three hours to less than 30 minutes and patient satisfaction increased from 15% to 60%. Treatment protocols were developed and documented for various units, infrastructure and workflow processes were improved and there was increased staff awareness of the importance of providing quality services. Maternal infection rates dropped from 3% to 0.5% and stillbirths from 5% to < 1%. The number of patients increased as a result of improved services, leading to a 25% increase in hospital revenue.
The SLMTA programme was adapted successfully to meet the needs of the entire hospital. Such a programme has the potential to impact positively on hospital quality systems; consideration should be made for development of a formal SLMTA-like programme for hospital quality improvement.

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