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Table 1 Standards for improving quality of maternal and new-born care in health facilities

From: Impact of macro-socioeconomic determinants on sustainable perinatal health care in Portugal: a qualitative study on the opinion of healthcare professionals and experts

Quality Standards [QS]a Quality Statementsb
Evidence based practices for routine care and management of complications QS 1 Every woman and new-born receive routine, evidence-based care and management of complications during labour, childbirth and the early postnatal period, according to WHO guidelines. Quality Statements 1.1a-1.1c
Pre-and Postnatal routine assessments and timely care
e.g. Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, postpartum haemorrhage, reanimation, infections
Actionable information systems QS 2 The health information system enables use of data to ensure early, appropriate action to improve the care of every woman and new-born. Quality Statements 2.1-2.2
Pre- and Postnatal standardized medical records, monitoring, analysis feedback provided by health facility
Functional referral system QS 3 Every woman and new-born with condition(s) that cannot be dealt with effectively with the available resources is appropriately referred. Quality Statements 3.1-3.3
Appropriate assessed admission, pre-established referred within health facilities, information exchange among HC staff
Effective communication QS 4 Communication with women and their families is effective and responds to their needs and preferences. Quality Statements 4.1-4.2
Information on care provision, interaction with staff, coordinated care with information exchange from health and social professionals
Respect and preservation of dignity QS 5 Women and new-born receive care with respect and preservation of their dignity. Quality Statements 5.1-5.3
Privacy, confidentiality, informed choices in received services, no denial of services or mistreatment
Emotional support QS 6 Every woman and her family are provided with emotional support that is sensitive to their needs and strengthens the woman’s capability. Quality Statements 6.1-6.2:
Option given to experience labour and childbirth with companion of her choice, support to strengthen capabilities during childbirth
Competent, motivated, human resources QS 7 For every woman and new-born, competent, motivated staff are consistently available to provide routine care and manage complications. Quality Statements 7.1-7.3:
Access to support staff for routine care with appropriate competences, Health facility has managerial and clinical leadership to undertake quality improvement
Essential physical resources available QS 8 The health facility has an appropriate physical environment, with adequate water, sanitation and energy supplies, medicines, supplies and equipment for routine maternal and new-born care and management of complications. Quality Statements 8.1-8.3:
Functional, reliable, safe and sufficient facilities, organized pre-and postnatal areas, adequate medicines, supplies and equipment for routine care and management of complications
  1. Based on: World Health Organization. (2016). Standards for improving quality of maternal and new-born care in health facilities
  2. aQuality standards [QS]: Concise prioritized statement designed to drive measurable quality improvements in the care around childbirth
  3. bQuality measures: Criteria that can be used to assess, measure and monitor quality of care