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QA Experts Contribute to Liverpool Conference via Internet
Web Participants Add to Lively Dialogue on Human Resources and Quality Assurance

Dr. M. Rashad F. Massoud, MD, MPH, Associate Director, the Quality Assurance Project, was recently invited to participate in an innovative consultative workshop and web conference exploring the relationship between Human Resource Management and Quality Assurance.

The conference, "Human Resource Management and Quality Assurance in Health Care: Working Together and Working Better," was sponsored by the Health Sector Reform program at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, March 13 -16, 2001.


The conference brought together 20 on-site participants in Liverpool with 20 web participants from around the world who contributed their thoughts by e-mail or on the conference’s web site after the day’s presentations. A summary of the day’s proceedings was posted on the conference web site each evening, and web participants had until the next morning to add to the discussion. These findings were then presented at the next day’s workshop.

These substantial web-based discussions were intended to broaden the scope and impact of the workshop. The international web participants represented country participants, academic and international consultants, and donors, all with valuable experience in human resource management and quality assurance.

The conference explored the key areas of overlap between human resource management (HRM) and quality assurance (QA) approaches to improving health systems performance. The conference also sought to identify the challenges for institutionalization and integration of HRM and QA approaches, to develop strategies to enhance collaboration between professionals working in these two fields, and to disseminate lessons from partner countries.

"The web conference was invaluable for us. Taking part through the Internet was a unique way for participants to offer their ideas to the daily discussions," Dr. Massoud said. Contributing thoughts via the Web also saved valuable time and travel costs to the conference site in Great Britain.

Web participants recorded their thoughts to several propositions, such as the overlap and relationship between HRM and QA, an integrated view of organizational performance management, quality and performance at the local service delivery level, and defining and sharing key health care results by local staff. They also shared ideas on promoting QA and performance within teams, debating whether quality and performance should each be separate departments or part of the organizational culture, and making quality and performance management an integral part of the health system.

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The Quality Assurance Project (QAP) is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) under Contract Number GPH-C-00-02-00004-00.