Background: Criteria-based audits (CBA) have been used to improve clinical management in developed countries, but have only recently been introduced in the developing world. This study discusses the use of a CBA to improve quality of care among eclampsia patients admitted at a University teaching hospital in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.
Objective: The prevalence of eclampsia in MNH is high (≈6%) with the majority of cases arriving after start of convulsions. In 2004-2005 the case-fatality rate in eclampsia was 5.1% of all pregnant women admitted for delivery (MNH obstetric data base). A criteria-based audit (CBA) was used to evaluate the quality of care for eclamptic mothers admitted at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after implementation of recommendations of a previous audit.
Methods: A CBA of eclampsia cases was conducted at MNH. Management practices were evaluated using evidence-based criteria for appropriate care. The Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines, local management guidelines, the WHO manual supplemented by the WHO Reproductive Health Library, standard textbooks, the Cochrane database and reviews in peer reviewed journals were adopted. At the initial audit in 2006, 389 case notes were assessed and compared with the standards, gaps were identified, recommendations made followed by implementation. A re-audit of 88 cases was conducted in 2009 and compared with the initial audit.
Results: There was significant improvement in quality of patient management and outcome between the initial and re-audit: Review of management plan by senior staff (76% vs. 99%; P=0.001), urine for albumin test (61% vs. 99%; P=0.001), proper use of partogram to monitor labour (75% vs. 95%; P=0.003), treatment with steroids for lung maturity (2.0% vs. 24%; P=0.001), Caesarean section within 2 hours of decision (33% vs. 61%; P=0.005), full blood count (28% vs. 93%; P=0.001), serum urea and creatinine (44% vs. 86%; P=0.001), liver enzymes (4.0% vs. 86%; P=0.001), and specialist review within 2 hours of admission (25% vs. 39%; P=0.018). However, there was no significant change in terms of delivery within 24 hours of admission (69% vs. 63%; P=0.33). There was significant reduction of maternal deaths (7.7% vs. 0%; P=0.001).
Conclusion: CBA is applicable in low resource setting and can help to improve quality of care in obstetrics including management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.