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COPE® for Maternal Health Services

A Process and Tools for Improving the Quality of Maternal Health Services

COPE®, which stands for "client-oriented, provider-efficient" services, is a process that helps health care staff continuously improve the quality and efficiency of services provided at their facility and make services more responsive to clients' needs. COPE provides staff with practical, easy-to-use tools to identify problems and develop solutions using local resources, and it encourages all levels of staff and supervisors to work together as a team and to involve clients in assessing services. Through COPE, staff develop a customer focus, learning to define quality in concrete terms by putting themselves in their clients' shoes. The process also enables staff to explore the strengths of their work site.

EngenderHealth's first COPE handbook, published in 1995 (COPE: Client-Oriented, Provider-Efficient Services), was focused on family planning. But clients around the world expect quality in all health services, and family planning services are not isolated from other types of health care. Over time, providers expressed the need for such tools for other health services, so the COPE process and set of tools were adaptedfor use in other health services—maternal health care, child health services, adolescent reproductive health care, and services related to HIV and sexually transmitted infections, among others.

In 2003, EngenderHealth revised the original handbook to include additional information about how to conduct COPE and began producing a set of accompanying toolbooks. This toolbook, which is intended to be used in conjunction with the new edition of the COPE handbook, is designed to assist providers and site staff identify and solve on-site problems that compromise the quality of maternal health services. The maternal health-specific services addressed in the tools are:

  • Antenatal care
  • Routine labor and delivery care
  • Emergency obstetric care (including postabortion care)
  • Postpartum care (immediate and follow-up)

View or download this publication (PDF, 1.1 MB).

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