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Patients’ experiences of public healthcare in Zambia

Patient feedback systems can improve the quality of health services and make healthcare systems more accountable and responsive to the needs of the people they are meant to serve. We are enthusiastic about our new collaboration with Copper Rose Zambia in designing, developing and rolling out a chatbot tailored to gather feedback from patients across five public health facilities in Lusaka, Zambia.

Without reliable information, we can’t make well-informed decisions. Feedback mechanisms in healthcare can play an important role in improving services and making them serve people better. Feedback to health providers is sometimes shared online over social media or at the facility but this tends to be skewed, overly negative, and not constructive, or not honest if shared in person. Adopting a digital solution with the purpose of feedback sharing can provide staff with near real-time data on how people perceive services.

In partnership with Copper Rose Zambia, we are designing, developing, and rolling out a conversational-like WhatsApp chatbot that will provide a platform for young people to share their feedback. The important feedback gathered through the interactions between the chatbot and the young people will shape the quality of the sexual and reproductive health services offered to them by putting their voices at the forefront. As always, human-centred design is at the heart of our digital solutions and we are currently speaking to young people to understand how they would like to share their care experiences.

We’re on a mission to empower adolescents and young people by creating a revolutionary WhatsApp chatbot that speaks their language. This innovative platform allows them to share feedback directly, shaping the future of sexual and reproductive health services with their voices at the forefront

 Getting great feedback starts with asking the right questions in the right way and probing where required. Human-centered design will help us build a tool that results in actionable insights from the people who experienced health services first-hand, says Heiko Hornung, Director of Innovation, Data and Technology at D-tree.

But feedback mustn’t stop at being just feedback. It needs to be taken into consideration at the health facilities and we are also working closely with Copper Rose Zambia and the health facilities so that they can read and analyze the data and make appropriate improvements.

We are excited about the partnership with D-tree and strongly believe that this chatbot will help public health facilities to serve Adolescents and Young People with improved quality of service and responsiveness to their needs, ultimately strengthening the whole health system from national through to sub-national levels, says Dr. Newton Donkola, Advocacy and Health Promotions Program Manager at Copper Rose Zambia.

In the future, we will explore adding other channels than WhatsApp to make sure as many patients as possible share their experiences so that we can strengthen the health system together. Keep an eye on this space for more updates about the design and development of this.

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