UN-Habitat Enhances Healthcare Resilience in Lao PDR: Successful Conclusion of Hospital Safety Index Training

6 December 2023, Vientiane, Lao PDR – In a significant stride towards strengthening healthcare facilities’ resilience, UN-Habitat has completed an advanced training session with provincial leaders on the Lao PDR Hospital Safety Index (HSI). This initiative, a critical component of Activity 2 in the broader project “Strengthening Health Facility and Lifeline Infrastructure for Health Emergency Preparedness in Lao PDR,” is funded by the World Bank and the Ministry of Health and is directly aligned with the development of a national roadmap for scaling up hospital safety assessment in Lao PDR.

The training marked a key phase in the development and pilot-testing of the Hospital Safety Index. The session concluded with an evaluation survey, highlighting high participant satisfaction and enhanced understanding. Key findings indicated that 97.4% of attendees expressed confidence in their ability to use the HSI for evaluating hospital safety, with many indicating they have either enough understanding to use it effectively or sufficient understanding to use it with some further review. This reflects the successful adaptation and localization of the Hospital Safety Index to the specific context of Lao PDR.

The training featured a crucial component on the use of KoboToolbox, a digital tool designed to streamline the data collection process. This aspect of the training equipped participants with the skills to efficiently gather data related to the safety of hospitals in their provinces to better understand risk assessment. In the evaluation, proficiency in using KoboToolbox for digital data collection was reported as notably high, with an average understanding level of 8.74 out of 10. Additionally, participants showed a good grasp of utilizing Excel for their own HSI calculations and reporting, with an average understanding level of 8.29 out of 10. This indicates a solid understanding of the technical aspects necessary for effective evaluation and reporting of hospital safety.

A key focus of the training was to enable provincial leaders to cascade this knowledge to the district level. These leaders are now equipped to conduct their own trainings with district leaders to ensure that the knowledge of how to use KoboToolbox for HSI calculation is spread throughout the country. This decentralized approach aims to empower each province and district to independently conduct surveys for every health facility in Lao PDR to create a comprehensive and self-sufficient data collection network.

This training program underscores UN-Habitat’s commitment to capacity building at both national and sub-national levels. By scaling up assessment in the future, UN-Habitat aims to significantly improve the safety and preparedness of healthcare institutions in Lao PDR. The HSI data will be pivotal in identifying vulnerable infrastructure and formulating targeted interventions for risk reduction and emergency preparedness.

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