Recent research has shown that abortion quality is measured in varied and sometimes contradictory ways and researchers have called for agreement on common measures as a key way to monitor and improve quality.
Metrics for Management, Ibis Reproductive Health and Ipas are collaborating on an effort to simplify and standardise abortion service quality measurement.
Under the Wilton Park discussion protocol and through frank and off-the-record discussion in a safe and neutral environment whereby all participants contribute on an equal footing, this meeting sought to:
- review frameworks for approaching abortion quality measurement;
- reach agreement on the aspects of abortion service provision to be measured, the domains of quality to be assessed and outcomes of interest;
- share lessons learned and best practices for what has and has not worked in measuring abortion quality in the past;
- agree on prioritisation of key areas of service provision and dimensions of quality.
The aim was to develop a set of metrics that will:
- be applicable in low and middle income countries and account for the realities of service provision in those contexts;
- centre patient experience, rights and empowerment, while assessing quality;
- be simple, practical and useful to programme managers.
This consensus meeting was the first critical step in a process to build, pilot, validate and promote a suite of common measures of abortion service quality for widespread use and formal adoption. The meeting followed a methodology that Metrics for Management had used in previous metric development.