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HP+ presents Complaint Management System Manual and Toolkit to the Ministry of Health, Jamaica

February 28, 2019

Image: JAMAICA | (l-r) Tameka Clough (Jamaica Country Programme Coordinator, HP+), Dr Jennifer Knight-Johnson (Acting Director for Environment and Health, USAID), Rebecca Robinson (Acting Mission Director, USAID), Sandra McLeish (Jamaica Country Programme Director, HP+) and Dr The Honorable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health, Jamaica.

The Health Policy Plus (HP+) project presented Hon. Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health, Jamaica with 100 copies of a Complaint Management System (CMS) Manual and Toolkit.  The CMS outlined clear processes for accessing, documenting, investigating and resolving customer complaints. It also included a monitoring and evaluation framework that ensured complaint data is captured for quality improvement activities and programme and policy development.

The manual was designed to be used by Ministry of Health (MOH) staff involved in the complaint management process at all levels, within health facilities, regional health authorities, health departments and the Investigation and Enforcement Branch (Standards and Regulation Division). The aim of the initiative was to empower MOH staff to provide clients with the necessary guidance on how to raise their concerns and complaints.

The production of the manual formed part of the Ministry’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its customer service initiatives with its increased emphasis on patient-centered care. The production of the manual aimed to improve quality of service delivery in the public health sector by driving the demand for users to raise their concerns and lodge complaints and collect feedback from internal and external clients on the delivery of services.

The initiative also aimed to provide guidance on the means for failures and or complaints to be investigated as well as provide information on corrective and preventative actions, track data and trends on complaints to inform programme and policy changes for development and provide redress to clients.

In 2015, the Standards and Regulation Division, which has oversight for the CMS, approached the Health Policy Project (HPP), the predecessor project to HP+, to strengthen the Client Complaint Mechanism (CCM), launched in 2000.  Through the technical assistance provided by HP+, the CCM has evolved from procedural steps to a Complaint Management System with the inclusion of Quality Assurance components.  It is aligned with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001, Quality Management Systems – Requirements (2008).

Ms Sandra McLeish, Jamaica Country Programme Director for HP+, is proud of the collaboration with the Investigation and Enforcement Branch of the Standards and Regulation Division and has indicated the potential for future collaborations to strengthen customer service. “Having a robust reporting and redress system will go a far way in increasing the confidence of clients of the health sector since it is evident that the Ministry of Health is taking issues of discrimination seriously. The Standards and Regulations Division of the Ministry of Health has partnered with us for more than three years in developing this manual and toolkit that will strengthen not only the reporting but the avenues for redress for users of the system,” stated Ms McLeish.

The Minister anticipates that “the manual will be a useful tool in standardizing and streamlining the Complaint Management System across public health facilities and will strengthen the Ministry’s efforts in the delivery of quality care. The distribution and implementation of the CMS Manual and Toolkit to public health facilities will also strengthen the Compassionate Care Programme which was launched earlier this year at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.”

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was represented by Ms Rebecca Robinson (Acting Mission Director), Dr Jennifer Knight-Johnson (Acting Director for Environment and Health) and Ms Diana Acosta, the new Health Officer.

During the presentation of the Manual, Dr Knight-Johnson stated, “the initiative is a best practice, highlighting how PEPFAR resources are used effectively to address issues associated with stigma, discrimination and redress in country.  We recognize the work and effort beyond the call of duty that was put into ensuring that there is a trainers guide that accompanies the manual and that augurs well for sustainability. We also recognize the associated inputs and the level of effort involved with developing the case routing algorithm, the mystery client intervention and the Privacy and Confidentiality policy related to S&D”.