(1/1541) 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)

(2/1541) Assessment of serum thyroxine binding capacity-dependent biases in free thyroxine assays.

BACKGROUND: Free thyroxine (FT4) assays may exhibit biases that are related to serum T4 binding capacity (sBC). We describe two tests that can be used to assess the presence and magnitude of sBC-dependent biases in FT4 assays. METHODS: We used a direct equilibrium dialysis FT4 assay as the reference method and compared the results obtained with those of the FT4 assays under investigation, in patient sera having a wide range of sBC. We then compared the expected and observed FT4 results for sera diluted with an inert buffer. Because serum dilution causes a predictable decrease in sBC, an increasingly negative bias on progressive dilution is indicative of a sBC-dependent bias. RESULTS: The automated FT4 assay investigated (Vitros FT4) showed no demonstrable sBC-dependent bias by either test. CONCLUSION: These two tests can be used to screen for sBC-dependent biases in FT4 assays.  (+info)

(3/1541) User fees and patient behaviour: evidence from Niamey National Hospital.

Evidence is presented on the effects of price changes on the delay before seeking care and on referral status in a sample of hospital patients in Niger. Price changes are measured as differences across patients at one hospital in whether or not they pay for care, rather than as differences in prices across several hospitals. User fees are charged, but the fee system allows exemptions for some payor categories such as government employees, students, and indigent patients. Evidence is also presented on the effect of income on the delay before seeking care and referral status. The analysis demonstrates a technical point on whether household consumption or current income is a more appropriate measure of income. The analysis shows that user fees affect patient behaviour, but the effects are not the same for outpatients and inpatients. Outpatients who pay for care wait longer before seeking care, but inpatients do not. Inpatients who pay for care are more likely to be referred, but outpatients are not. Patients with more income wait less time to seek care and are less likely to be referred than other patients. Further, household consumption explains patient behaviour better than current income.  (+info)

(4/1541) Willingness to pay for district hospital services in rural Tanzania.

This paper describes a study undertaken to investigate the willingness of patients and households to pay for rural district hospital services in north-western Tanzania. The surveys undertaken included interviews with 500 outpatients and 293 inpatients at three district level hospitals, interviews with 1500 households and discussions with 22 focus groups within the catchment areas of the primary health care programmes of these hospitals. Information was collected on willingness to pay fees for certain hospital services, willingness to become a member of a local insurance system, and exemptions for cost-sharing. The willingness to pay for district hospital services was large. Furthermore, most respondents favoured a local insurance system above user fee systems, a finding which applied at all places and in all the surveys. More female respondents were in favour of a local insurance scheme. The conditions needed for the introduction of a local insurance system are discussed.  (+info)

(5/1541) Day surgery; development of a questionnaire for eliciting patients' experiences.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a single, short, acceptable, and validated postal questionnaire for assessing patients' experiences of the process and outcome of day surgery. DESIGN: Interviews and review of existing questionnaires; piloting and field testing of draft questionnaires; consistency and validity checks. SETTING: Four hospitals, in Coventry (two), Swindon, and Milton Keynes. PATIENTS: 373 patients undergoing day surgery in 1990. MAIN MEASURES: Postoperative symptoms, complications, health and functional status, general satisfaction, and satisfaction with specific aspects of care. RESULTS: Response rates of 50% were obtained on field testing draft questionnaires preoperatively and one week and one month after surgery. 28% of initial non-responders replied on receiving a postal reminder, regardless of whether or not a duplicate questionnaire was sent; a second reminder had little impact. Many patients who expressed overall satisfaction with their care were nevertheless dissatisfied with some specific aspects. Outcome and satisfaction were related to three aspects of case mix; patient's age, sex, and type of operative procedure. The final questionnaire produced as a result of this work included 28 questions with precoded answers plus opportunities to provide qualitative comments. Several factors (only one, shorter questionnaire to complete, fewer categories of nonresponders, and administration locally) suggested that a response rate of at least 65% (with one postal reminder) could be expected. CONCLUSION: A validated questionnaire for day surgery was developed, which will be used to establish a national comparative database.  (+info)

(6/1541) Day surgery: development of a national comparative audit service.

OBJECTIVES: To develop software for hospitals to analyse their own survey data on patients' experiences of day surgery and to create and test the feasibility of a national comparative audit service. DESIGN: Software development and testing; database analysis. SETTING: Eleven general hospitals in England. PATIENTS: 1741 day surgery patients undergoing procedures during 1991-2. MAIN MEASURES: Postoperative symptoms, complications, health and functional status, general satisfaction, and satisfaction with specific aspects of care. RESULTS: Software for data entry and analysis by hospitals was successfully used at the pilot sites. The overall response rate for the 11 hospitals using the questionnaire was 60%, ranging from 33% to 90% depending on the way the survey was managed. Data from all 11 hospitals were included in the national comparative audit database. Hospitals showed little variation in measures of patients' overall satisfaction (around 85%), but significant differences were apparent for specific aspects such as receiving adequate written information before admission (range 50%-89%), provision of adequate parking facilities (14%-92%) and experiencing a significant amount of postoperative pain (8%-42%). The proportion of day case patients undergoing procedures that could have been performed in outpatient departments varied from 0 to 27% between hospitals. Further comparisons of outcome, in particular measures of effectiveness, must await the development of validated case mix adjustment methods. CONCLUSION: Establishing a comparative audit database is feasible but several methodological problems remain to be resolved.  (+info)

(7/1541) Effects of fluoxetine on the polysomnogram in outpatients with major depression.

This study investigated the effects of open-label fluoxetine (20 mg/d) on the polysomnogram (PSG) in depressed outpatients (n = 58) who were treated for 5 weeks, after which dose escalation was available (< or = 40 mg/d), based on clinical judgment. Thirty-six patients completed all 10 weeks of acute phase treatment and responded (HRS-D < or = 10). PSG assessments were conducted and subjective sleep evaluations were gathered at baseline and at weeks 1, 5, and 10. Of the 36 subjects who completed the acute phase, 17 were reevaluated after 30 weeks on continuation phase treatment and 13 after approximately 7 weeks (range 6-8 weeks) following medication discontinuation. Acute phase treatment in responders was associated with significant increases in REM latency, Stage 1 sleep, and REM density, as well as significant decreases in sleep efficiency, total REM sleep, and Stage 2 sleep. Conversely, subjective measures of sleep indicated a steady improvement during acute phase treatment. After fluoxetine was discontinued, total REM sleep and sleep efficiency were found to be increased as compared to baseline.  (+info)

(8/1541) Mortality remains high for outpatient transplant candidates with prolonged (>6 months) waiting list time.

OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to determine the risk of death or urgent transplant for patients who survived an initial 6 months on the outpatient heart transplant waiting list when criteria emphasizing reduced peak oxygen consumption are used for transplant candidate selection. BACKGROUND: Waiting time is a key criterion for heart donor allocation. A recent single-center investigation described decreasing survival benefit from transplant for patients who survived an initial 6 months on the outpatient waiting list. METHODS: Kaplan-Meier survival analyses were performed for 80 patients from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) listed from July 1986 to January 1991, and 132 patients from Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (CPMC) listed from September 1993 to September 1995. Survival from the time of outpatient listing for the entire group (ALL) was compared to subsequent survival from 6 months onward for those patients who survived the initial 6 months after placement on the outpatient list (6M). Both urgent transplant and left ventricular assist device implantation were considered equivalent to death; elective transplant was censored. RESULTS Survival for 6M was not significantly better than ALL at HUP (subsequent 12 months: 60+/-7 vs. 60+/-6% [mean+/-SD]; p = 0.89) nor at CPMC (subsequent 12 months: 60+/-6 vs. 48+/-5%; p = 0.35). Survival for 6M at both centers was substantially lower than survival following transplant from the outpatient list in the United States in 1995. CONCLUSIONS: When high-risk patients are selected for nonurgent transplant listing, mortality remains high, even among those who survive the initial six months after listing. Time accrued on the waiting list remains an appropriate criterion for donor allocation.  (+info)