Remote Supportive Supervision for Supply Chain Professionals in Mozambique during COVID-19

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Date
September 10, 2020
Lead Paragraph/Summary

Supportive supervision is a process of helping staff to continuously improve their own work performance. It is carried out in a respectful and non-authoritarian way with a focus on using supervisory visits to improve knowledge and skills of health staff.

Beginning in provinces with reported COVID-19 cases — Maputo, Cabo Delgado, and Nampula — Provincial Medical Store (DPM) managers in Mozambique remotely supervised supply chain professionals at 24 sites in three districts with oversight from GHSC-PSM’s provincial advisors. With several goals — 1) provide technical assistance; 2) improve pharmaceutical commodity management support; 3) ensure adequate supply of products for HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis; maternal, newborn and child health; family planning; and nutrition; and 4) reduce waste — the supervisors focused on updating and synchronizing data from the national health commodity logistics information systems and electronic logistics management information systems, SIMAM and SIGLUS, respectively.

Preparation

  • The project held remote training for logistics professionals from health units and DPMs on the use of remote collaboration tools (TeamViewer, UltraViewer, Microsoft Teams, and others) to facilitate data review and to develop action items and implementation plans.
  • In April 2020, the remote supportive supervision model was tested and improved in Maputo. In May 2020, it was piloted at 24 sites in Maputo, Nacarôa (Nampula province), and Nhamatanda (Sofala province).

Approach

  • Remote supportive supervision must be conducted by any DPM technician, with the direct support of the GHSC-PSM advisor, visiting at least eight health units in the same district per month.
  • Supervisors and supervisees have the flexibility to communicate, share information, and extract data using TeamViewer, UltraViewer, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, VideoCall, and/or a normal phone call.
  • Standardized reports must be a maximum of three pages, include SIMAM backup/update data and SIGLUS synchronization data, and shared through email or WhatsApp within the DPM (supervisors) and Health Provincial Directorate no later than three days after the visit. As of May 2020, data indicate that 66 percent (1,047 of 1,580 sites) are actively reporting logistics information to SIGLUS, with a target of achieving coverage in 1,200 sites by the end of FY20. This represents roughly more than 75 percent of all public health facilities in the country.

Preliminary Results

  • By reviewing data from information systems, supervisors captured commodity stock levels at the provincial and service delivery points and could easily identify problems, document observations, and deliver and follow up on recommendations and action items. Remote supportive supervision reports will be discussed with the Health Provincial Directorate to validate the action plans.
  • Supervisors have remarked that supervisees appreciate the remote supportive supervision approach and that it helps support and motivate them.
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Example of a remote supportive supervision report, including standard performance dashboards and narrative for problems, recommendations, and action items.
Example of a remote supportive supervision report, including standard performance dashboards and narrative for problems, recommendations, and action items.
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Lessons Learned

  • Training the end users is a top priority because the system’s success depends on users’ utilizing software features to their potential and enabling relevant and meaningful data collection.
  • When supervisors and supervisees use data and visualize the stock status together, supply chain management improvements can be made remotely.
  • Remote supportive supervision still motivates staff remotely and provides moral and technical support when in-person visits are not possible.
  • SIGLUS synchronization, delayed product entry, and internet connectivity were the greatest challenges.

For more information, please contact the Supply Chain Practice Management Team at supplychainteam@chemonics.com.