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Institute for Global Health

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Christian Ngozi Okolo

Christian's thesis title is: "Designing a Health Care Quality Management Framework and Hospital Performance Assessment Framework to Improve the Quality of Health Care Services in Enugu State, Nigeria."

His primary supervisor is Dr Tim Colbourn.

To get in touch with Christian, please email him at christian.okolo.18@ucl.ac.uk.

About Christian

Christian Okolo trained as medical doctor and practised for some time as a general practitioner in Nigeria before moving on to his area of interest in Public Health. He obtained MPH at School of Public Health, University of Maastricht, MSc. in Health Promotion at University of East London and MBA at Henley Management College, UK.

Between 2000 and 2010 he worked at various NHS organisations in health quality management/governance roles. It was during those years in the NHS that he developed passion for, and expertise in, health quality improvement. Between 2012 and 2018 he lectured at University of Nigeria Nsukka in the department of Health Administration and Management. 

His experience of health quality improvement systems in NHS hospitals in the UK that encouraged him to undertake this PhD research to design a health quality management framework that could help to improve the quality of health care delivery in Nigerian hospitals.

Thesis Summary

In Nigeria there is high frequency of severe and catastrophic harm to patients arising from hospital care. Despite that, there is near lack of coordinated health quality management/improvement system in hospitals and there is no national strategy on health quality improvement. There appears to be isolated and unco-ordinated activities aimed at quality inspection in some hospitals.

The knowledge of most doctors, nurses and hospital administrators on health quality improvement approaches is questionable. Also, the right structures, systems and processes for systematic quality improvement approach appears to be lacking.

It is against this backdrop that this research was devised with the aim “to improve the quality of health care services received by patients in Enugu State through sustainable clinical governance / quality assurance management system components of quality management framework and hospital performance assessment framework”.

Mixed methods design will be used to collect data from patients, patients’ relatives, clinicians and hospital administrators on their knowledge of quality management processes, the level of patient safety errors in hospitals and quality management practices available in hospitals, if any. The researcher will also review available documents for quality management in hospitals in Enugu state and conduct expert interviews.

The data collected will be analysed and used to design acceptable frameworks for managing health care quality and hospital performance in hospitals in Enugu state in collaboration with a group of health quality management experts through a Delphi method. The newly designed frameworks will be piloted over a period of 6 – 12 months in few selected hospitals using an implementation research before final versions of the frameworks will be produced. 

The researcher will work in collaboration with the Enugu State Ministry of Health to gradually implement the new frameworks in all hospitals in Enugu State. It is expected that the output of this research, and the implementation research, will help to improve the quality of health care delivery and patient experience in Enugu State. If this aim is achieved in Enugu State, it could be a precursor for a nationally accepted health quality management framework for hospitals in Nigeria.