This study assessed the correlation between compliance with set performance standards and maternal and neonatal deaths in health facilities.Design
Baseline and three annual follow-up assessments were conducted, and each was followed by a quality improvement initiative using the Standards Based Management and Recognition (SBM-R) approach.Setting
Twenty-three secondary health facilities of Bauchi state, Nigeria.Participants
Health care workers and maternity unit patients.Main outcome measures
We examined trends in: (i) achievement of SBM-R set performance standards based on annual assessment data, (ii) the use of maternal and newborn health (MNH) service delivery practices based on data from health facility registers and supportive supervision and (iii) MNH outcomes based on routine service statistics.Results
At the baseline assessment in 2010, the facilities achieved 4% of SBM-R standards for MNH, on average, and this increased to 86% in 2013. Over the same time period, the study measured an increase in the administration of uterotonic for active management of third stage of labor from 10% to 95% and a decline in the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage from 3.3% to 1.9%. Institutional neonatal mortality rate decreased from 9 to 2 deaths per 1000 live births, while the institutional maternal mortality ratio dropped from 4113 to 1317 deaths per 100 000 live births.Conclusion
Scaling up SBM-R for quality improvement has the potential to prevent maternal and neonatal deaths in Nigeria and similar settings.