A blood pressure clinic in a health centre.
Following a screening survey for hypertension in Renfrew, a blood pressure clinic was established in a health centre. Three hospital doctors, each working an average of two sessions weekly, saw 368 patients. A specially trained nurse played an important part in the running of the clinic. Attendance of patients was high, and defaulting amongst those needing treatment was low. Blood pressures were well controlled in 75% of the patients. The clinic has proved an acceptable method of managing large numbers of hypertensives without reference to hospital. (+info)
Indigenous perceptions and quality of care of family planning services in Haiti.
This paper presents a method for evaluating and monitoring the quality of care of family planning services. The method was implemented in Haiti by International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR), the managerial agency for the Private Sector Family Planning Project (PSFPP), which is sponsored by the USAID Mission. The process consists of direct observations of family planning services and clinic conditions by trained Haitian housewives playing the role of 'mystery clients', who visit clinics on a random basis without prior notice. Observations conducted by mystery clients during one year, from April 1990 to April 1991, are presented and illustrate the use of the method. In addition, measurements for rating the acceptability of the services were developed, providing a quantitative assessment of the services based on mystery clients' terms. Statistical results demonstrate that simulated clients ranked some criteria of acceptability higher than others. These criteria are: the interaction provider/client, information adequacy, and competence of the promoter. Likewise, simulated clients' direct observations of the services permitted the identification of deficiencies regarding the quality of care such as the paternalistic attitudes of the medical staff; the lack of competence of promoters; and the lack of informed choice. Based on its reliability since its implementation in 1990 the method has proven to be a useful tool in programme design and monitoring. (+info)
Micro-level planning using rapid assessment for primary health care services.
This paper describes the use of a rapid assessment technique in micro-level planning for primary health care services which has been developed in India. This methodology involves collecting household-level data through a quick sample survey to estimate client needs, coverage of services and unmet need, and using this data to formulate micro-level plans aimed at improving service coverage and quality for a primary health centre area. Analysis of the data helps to identify village level variations in unmet need and develop village profiles from which general interventions for overall improvement of service coverage and targeted interventions for selected villages are identified. A PHC area plan is developed based on such interventions. This system was tried out in 113 villages of three PHC centres of a district in Gujarat state of India. It demonstrated the feasibility and utility of this approach. However, it also revealed the barriers in the institutionalization of the system on a wider scale. The proposed micro-level planning methodology using rapid assessment would improve client-responsiveness of the health care system and provide a basis for increased decentralization. By focusing attention on under-served areas, it would promote equity in the use of health services. It would also help improve efficiency by making it possible to focus efforts on a small group of villages which account for most of the unmet need for services in an area. Thus the proposed methodology seems to be a feasible and an attractive alternative to the current top-down, target-based health planning in India. (+info)
Community asthma clinics: 1993 survey of primary care by the National Asthma Task Force.
OBJECTIVES: To establish a baseline of work done in primary care asthma clinics in the United Kingdom and to assess the degree of clinical delegation to nurses and the appropriateness of their training. DESIGN: Prospective questionnaire survey of asthma care in general practices and a subsidiary survey of all family health services authorities (FHSAs) of the number of asthma clinics in their area. SETTING: All 14,251 general practices in the United Kingdom and 117 FHSAs or health boards (Scotland and Northern Ireland). RESULTS: Questionnaires were returned by 4327 (30.4%) general practices, 54% being completed by practice nurses and 22% by general practitioners; in 24% profession was not stated. In all, 77.2% (3339/4327) of respondents ran an asthma clinic. 60 FHSAs state the number of asthma clinics at the time of the general practice survey (total 3653 clinics); within responding FHSAs 1702 (46.6%) practices running an asthma clinic replied to the general practice survey. Clinics exclusive for patients with asthma mostly occurred in practices with five or more general practitioners (70.2%), compared with single-handed practices (31.7%). The average number of asthma clinics run per practice was five a month; the average duration was 2 hours and 20 minutes. 1131 (48.8%) nurses ran clinics by themselves, 1180 (47.9%) with the doctor, and 39 (1.7%) had no medical input. Comprehensive questioning occurred other than for nasal (872, 26.1%) or oesophageal (335, 10.0%) symptoms and use of aspirin and non-steroidal drugs (1161, 33.4%). Growth in children was measured by only a third of respondents. Of the 1131 nurses who ran clinics alone, 251 (22.2%) did so without formal training entailing assessment. CONCLUSION: Asthma clinics are now common in general practice and much of their work is done by nurses, a significant minority of whom may not have had sufficient training. IMPLICATIONS: As this survey is probably biased toward the more asthma aware practices, greater deficiencies in training and standards may exist in other practices. Further evaluation of the effectiveness of asthma clinics is needed. (+info)
User charges in government health facilities in Kenya: effect on attendance and revenue.
In this paper we study demand effects of user charges in a district health care system using cross-sectional data from household and facility surveys. The effects are examined in public as well as in private health facilities. We also look briefly at the impact of fees on revenue and service quality in government facilities. During the period of cost-sharing in public clinics, attendance dropped by about 50%. This drop prompted the government to suspend the fees for approximately 20 months. Over the 7 months after suspension of fees, attendance at government health centres increased by 41%. The suspension further caused a notable movement of patients from the private sector to government health facilities. The revenue generated by user fees covered 2.4% of the recurrent health budget. Some 40% of the facilities did not spend the fee revenue they collected, mainly due to cumbersome procedures of expenditure approvals. The paper concludes with lessons from Kenya's experience with user charges. (+info)
Quality of primary outpatient services in Dar-es-Salaam: a comparison of government and voluntary providers.
This study aimed to test whether voluntary agencies provide care of better quality than that provided by government with respect to primary curative outpatient services in Dar-es-Salaam. All non-government primary services were included, and government primary facilities were randomly sampled within the three districts of the city. Details of consultations were recorded and assessed by a panel who classed consultations as adequate, inadequate but serious consequences unlikely, and consultations where deficiencies in the care could have serious consequences. Interpersonal conduct was assessed and exit interviews were conducted. The study found that government registers of non-government 'voluntary' providers actually contained a high proportion of for-profit private providers. Comparisons between facilities showed that care was better overall at voluntary providers, but that there was a high level of inadequate care at both government and non-government providers. (+info)
Measuring time utilization in rural health centres.
OBJECTIVES: During the recent re-design of the primary health care system in Cameroon a time-motion study was undertaken to determine how health workers at rural health centres use their time before redefining their roles. METHODS: The study developed a simple, effective and inexpensive tool which uses the activity sampling technique, and was applied to 20 health centres with a total of 19,080 observations being made of 64 health workers who represented all grades of worker in the government health services. RESULTS: The study developed a clear picture of how health centre staff apportion their time, and how the division of labour and tasks is carried out in a rural health centre. It found that only 27% of health workers' time is currently being spent on productive, health-related activities, and of this time, the largest proportion is spent on curative, clinical work. Less than 1% of health workers' time is spent on preventive and outreach activities. DISCUSSION: This study has developed a simple and inexpensive tool which can be used in any health facility to determine how health-related activities are carried out. This is an important step if changes in the delivery structure are to be made, because it establishes the discrepancy between expected and actual behaviour, and provides an important baseline for the evaluation of the effectiveness of any changes that are introduced within the system. (+info)
Primary health care, community participation and community-financing: experiences of two middle hill villages in Nepal.
Although community involvement in health related activities is generally acknowledged by international and national health planners to be the key to the successful organization of primary health care, comparatively little is known about its potential and limitations. Drawing on the experiences of two middle hill villages in Nepal, this paper reports on research undertaken to compare and contrast the scope and extent of community participation in the delivery of primary health care in a community run and financed health post and a state run and financed health post. Unlike many other health posts in Nepal these facilities do provide effective curative services, and neither of them suffer from chronic shortage of drugs. However, community-financing did not appear to widen the scope and the extent of participation. Villagers in both communities relied on the health post for the treatment of less than one-third of symptoms, and despite the planners' intentions, community involvement outside participation in benefits was found to be very limited. (+info)