What is it about?

Improving healthcare quality is crucial, especially in low- & middle-income countries where one third of avoidable deaths are linked to poor care. We don't know much about how offering rewards, like money or other benefits, affects the way healthcare teams work and perform. This study dives into how incentives shape healthcare teams' performance. Discovering effective strategies to enhance quality of care could help Ministries of Health and other healthcare organizations improve outcomes.

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Why is it important?

Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom. While incentives weren't the main driving force for most participants to up their performance, they did show a strong dedication to enhancing the quality of care they provide. The quarterly measurements and the supportive supervision from national-level authorities turned out to be game-changers. These not only externally validated the performance but also nurtured a shared responsibility in the quest for improvement.


Our research doesn't say incentives shouldn't be used, but it adds some weight to their importance and suggests looking at other factors to improve performance. Building a supportive environment for staff to provide quality care is essential.

Diego Rios-Zertuche
Salud Mesoamerica Initiative

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Qualitative study of in-kind incentives to improve healthcare quality in Belize: Is quality work better than wealth?, PLoS ONE, August 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0290457.
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