Involving patients in QI: the Caribbean Collaborative (CaReQIC)

An initiative known as the Caribbean Regional Quality Improvement Collaborative (CaReQIC) has been aimed at improving four drivers of virologic suppression: returning patients to care, retaining patients in care, adherence to medication, and laboratory monitoring. One important feature of the ITECH Quality Improvement collaborative approach is the importance given to patient engagement as a way to drive quality improvement.

The Collaborative convenes health care teams from Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. I-TECH has been encouraging and facilitating health care workers and patients to work together to identify solutions to the difficult challenges they face. Patient engagement in QI has evolved over time. Initially, I-TECH recruited patients to attend learning sessions and serve as advisors to teams.

Over time, these advisors joined the QI teams at many facilities. Others were recruited directly by their facility. The approach is now widely embraced, most I-TECH-supported QI teams now involve patient members and I-TECH continues to support expanded integration of patients on QI teams. ITECH QI training of leaders and site teams serves to build local capacity for sustainability of national quality improvement initiatives, and technical assistance is being provided at site, regional and national level to develop QI plans.

CaReQIC site teams are testing patient centered differentiated models of care that assist in overcoming obstacles to care and serve to improve retention in care and adherence to medication so as to increase suppression of the virus.