Hearing the Voices of Women in War through Continuous Quality Improvement

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During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BIH), the infrastructure of the health care system was destroyed and health officials, health care providers, and women experienced the war from their own perspectives. Using the principles of continuous quality improvement (CQI), these perspectives were honored and served as the basis for an international training program to hear the voices of women in war and the concerns of those who cared for them. With the results of a comprehensive national survey of all partners, the World Health Organization's European Regional Office held a five-day workshop that used CQI methods. The facilitators and 18 nurses, midwives, and physicians from six cantons developed interventions to address the women's needs, as detailed from the women's stories and from the professional perspectives of governmental authorities and health providers. The effort illustrates the ways in which the principles and tools of CQI can be used to capture the needs of the users of the services with those responsible for restructuring the health service and those with overall responsibility for the health of woman throughout the country.

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