Nurses and nursing in primary medical care in England.
In 1974 we sent questionnaires on attachment and employment of nurses to 9214 general practices in England. There were 7863 replies (85%), of which 551 were excluded from the study. A total of 2654 nurses were directly employed by 24% (1774) of the practices, and 68% (4972) had attached nurses. Practices in health centres were larger and had greater nursing resources than those in other premises. We suggest that practices may employ nurses to compensate for ineffective nursing attachments, and we conclude that general-practice-employed nurses are becoming "professionalised". (+info)
A management information system for nurse/midwives.
The experiences of nurse/midwives with a simple management information system in the private sector are reported from four facilities in Nigeria. When such a system is being introduced, special attention should be given to strengthening the ability of health workers to record and collate data satisfactorily. (+info)
Regional organisational audit of district departments of public health.
Organisational audit of public health in the United Kingdom is rare. To provide a framework for a structured organisational audit in district public health departments in one region organisational factors contributing to efficient, high quality work were identified and compared between districts, enabling each department to identify its organisational strengths and weaknesses. A draft list of organisational factors, based on the King's Fund organisational audit programme, were rated by 52 public health physicians and trainees in 12 district public health departments in South East Thames region for their importance on a scale of 0 (not relevant) to 5 (vital). Factors with average ratings of > 4, judged to be "vital" and proxies for standards, were then used to compare each district's actual performance, as reported by its director of public health in a self reported questionnaire. In all, 37 responses were received to the rating questionnaire (response rate 71%) and 12 responses to the directors' questionnaire. Of the 54 factors identified as vital factors, 20(37%) were achieved in all 12 districts and 16(30%) in all but one district; 18 were not being achieved by two (33%) districts or more. Overall, vital factors were not being achieved in 9% of cases. The authors concluded that most departments are achieving most vital organisational factors most of the time, but improvement is still possible. The results have been used as a basis for planning the organisation of public health departments in several of the newly formed commissioning agencies. This was the first regional audit of public health of its kind performed in the region and it provided valuable experience for planning future regional audit activity. (+info)
Health human resource development in rural China.
China has made significant progress in increasing the quantity of health workers in rural areas. Attention is shifting to improving the quality of health workers. This article documents several features of health workers in rural China. Many have not received formal training to a level implied by their rank and title, and there is no clear relationship between the skills of health workers and the functions they perform. Many better-qualified personnel have left lower level health facilities for more attractive employment in higher level and urban facilities. A system of professional licensing is currently being considered that will link educational requirements to employment and promotion. This article outlines some of the issues that should be taken into consideration in formulating this system. In particular, licensing may have unequal impacts on rich and poorer areas. This article argues that other regulatory measures will be necessary if licensing is to be an effective mechanism for controlling the quality of health workers, and contribute to the provision of affordable health services in both rich and poor areas. (+info)
The impact of a simulated immunization registry on perceived childhood immunization status.
We developed a simulated immunization registry to assess the impact on the perceived immunization status in a population-based sample of 2-year-olds living in Olmsted County, MN, in 1995. We compiled records of all immunizations by abstracting immunization data from all medical care facilities in the county. The data collected from each facility were analyzed separately to provide the immunization rate as perceived by each facility. This perceived rate was compared to the rate obtained by combining all recorded immunizations from all facilities (simulated registry). Information on children not receiving any carefrom facilities in Olmsted County was compiled from birth certificate data and community school lists. Data from the simulated registry indicated that 69.1% of all children in Olmsted County with medical records were up-to-date on their immunizations by 20 months of age. By 24 months, this increased to 74.2%. The immunization rate of 24-month-old children recorded at individual healthcare facilities in Olmsted County ranged from 24.3% to 79.5%. The addition of data from the simulated registry increased the immunization rate at each site: a 27.7% relative increase in the site with the lowest recorded immunization rate, a 14.0% increase in the site with the intermediate immunization rate, and a 6.9% increase in the site with the highest internally perceived immunization rate. The registry also identified excess immunizations in 5% of the county's 2-year-olds. Each healthcare facility in this community gained an immediate benefit from the development of a simulated immunization registry. This immediate improvement in one quality-of-care measure (up-to-date immunization rate) should be factored into the cost/benefit assessment of immunization registries. (+info)
Management of maple syrup urine disease in Canada. Committee for improvement of Hereditary Disease Management.
Nine patients with classic maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) and four with variant forms are under care at five treatment centres in the network affiliated with the National Food Distribution Centre for the Treatment of Hereditary Metabolic Diseases (the "Food Bank"). Diagnosis was made by clinicians and not from mass screening programs. MSUD requires complex emergency treatment to prevent severe neurologic damage, but effective management is compatible with normal growth and development. Long-term treatment requires continuous monitoring of the response to diets restricted in branched-chain amino acids; semisynthetic diet products free of branched-chain amino acids, provided by the Food Bank, are essential. Centralized treatment programs reduce the cost of treatment and maximize the potential benefits. The leucine requirement for adequate somatic growth during infancy in MSUD was found to be 200 to 600 mg/d; this range is lower than that estimated for infants with an intact leucine catabolic outflow pathway. The requirements for isoleucine and valine in infancy were also found to be lower than published values for normal infants. (+info)
Experience measuring performance improvement in multiphase picture archiving and communications systems implementations.
When planning a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) implementation and determining which equipment will be implemented in earlier and later phases, collection and analysis of selected data will aid in setting implementation priorities. If baseline data are acquired relative to performance objectives, the same information used for implementation planning can be used to measure performance improvement and outcomes. The main categories of data to choose from are: (1) financial data; (2) productivity data; (3) operational parameters; (4) clinical data; and (5) information about customer satisfaction. In the authors' experience, detailed workflow data have not proved valuable in measuring PACS performance and outcomes. Reviewing only one category of data in planning will not provide adequate basis for targeting operational improvements that will lead to the most significant gains. Quality improvement takes into account all factors in production: human capacity, materials, operating capital and assets. Once we have identified key areas of focus for quality improvement in each phase, we can translate objectives into implementation requirements and finally into detailed functional and performance requirements. Here, Integration Resources reports its experience measuring PACS performance relative to phased implementation strategies for three large medical centers. Each medical center had its own objectives for overcoming image management, physical/geographical, and functional/technical barriers. The report outlines (1) principal financial and nonfinancial measures used as performance indicators; (2) implementation strategies chosen by each of the three medical centers; and (3) the results of those strategies as compared with baseline data. (+info)
Health-care facility choice and the phenomenon of bypassing.
Health policy-makers in developing countries are often disturbed and to a degree surprised by the phenomenon of the ill travelling past a free or subsidized local public clinic (or other public facility) to get to an alternative source of care at which they often pay a considerable amount for health care. That a person bypasses a facility is almost certainly indicative either of significant problems with the quality of care at the bypassed facility or of significantly better care at the alternative source of care chosen. When it is a poor person choosing to bypass a free public facility and pay for care further away, such action is especially bothersome to public policy-makers. This paper uses a unique data set, with a health facility survey in which all health facilities are identified, surveyed, and located geographically; and a household survey in which a sample of households from the same health district is also both surveyed and located geographically. The data are analyzed to examine patterns of health care choice related to the characteristics and locations of both the facilities and actual and potential clients. Rather than using the distance travelled or some other general choice of type of care variable as the dependent variable, we are able actually to analyze which specific facilities are bypassed and which chosen. The findings are instructive. That bypassing behaviour is not very different across income groups is certainly noteworthy, as is the fact that the more severely ill tend to bypass and to travel further for care than do the less severely ill. In multivariate analysis almost all characteristics of both providers and facilities are found to have the a priori expected relationships to facility choice. Prices tend to deter use, and improved quality of services to increase the likelihood of a facility being chosen. The answer to the bypassing dilemma seems to be for providers to provide as good quality care relative to the money charged (if any), as other, often further away, providers. (+info)