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Implementation and Evaluation of Obstetric Early Warning Systems in Tertiary care Hospitals in Nigeria

Umar, Aminu, Ibrahim, Saidu, Liman, Idris, Chama, Calvin, Ijaiya, Munirdeen, Mathai, Matthews ORCID: and Ameh, Charles ORCID: (2022) 'Implementation and Evaluation of Obstetric Early Warning Systems in Tertiary care Hospitals in Nigeria'. PLOS Global Public Health, Vol 2, Issue 7, e0000225.

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Obstetric Early Warning Systems (EWS) use combined clinical observations to predict increased risk of deterioration and alert health workers to institute actions likely to improve outcomes. The objective of this study was to explore the experience of health workers about the implementation of an obstetric EWS and assess its effectiveness as an alternative clinical monitoring method compared to standard practice. This mixed-method study included obstetric admissions (n=2400) to inpatient wards between 01/08/2018 and 31/03/2019 at three Nigerian tertiary hospitals (1 intervention and two control). Outcomes assessed were the efficiency of monitoring and recording vital signs using the patient monitoring index and speed of post-EWS trigger specialist review. These were evaluated through a review of case notes before and four months after EWS was introduced. Qualitative data was collected to explore healthcare workers’ views on EWS’ acceptability and usability. EWS was correctly used in 51% (n=307) of the women in the intervention site. Of these women, 58.6% (n=180) were predicted to have an increased risk of deterioration, and 38.9% (n=70) were reviewed within 1 hour. There was a significant improvement in the frequency of vital signs recording in the intervention site: observed/expected frequency improved to 0.91 from 0.57, p<0.005, but not in the control sites. Health workers reported that the EWS helped them cope with work demands while making it easier to detect and manage deteriorating patients. Nurses and doctors reported that the EWS was easy to use and that scores consistently correlated with the clinical picture of patients. Identified challenges included rotation of clinical staff, low staffing numbers and reduced availability of monitoring equipment. The implementation of EWS improved the frequency of patient monitoring, but a larger study will be required to explore the effect on health outcomes. The EWS is a feasible and acceptable tool in low-resource settings with implementation modifications.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 309 Women's health
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 310 Maternal welfare
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 20 Research (General)
WQ Obstetrics > Labor > WQ 330 Complications of labor
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2022 10:34
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2022 10:34


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