ABCD - Always Be Collecting Data! Following consultations and approval of Malawi Ministry of Health we designed, printed and dispatched brand new, user friendly operating theatre registers to all government owned district hospitals. This will help to strengthen surgical data collection in these facilities.
Our situation analysis included data on the quality of surgical data in district hospitals. The findings demonstrated lack of standardised data collection instruments. Currently district surgical teams use a variety of different methods to record operations, depending on local practices and resources. Some facilities use log-books, while others use a “pen and ruler” approach. This affects the quality of record keeping, as there are cases of pages from registers being lost, incomplete entries etc. This in turn creates problems in terms of data monitoring by management and at higher level of reporting.
To mitigate this challenge the SURG-Africa project is now providing operating theatre registers to all public district hospitals across Malawi. The new registers have been designed to standardise the collection of routine data on surgical procedures performed at the hospitals.
We hope that the new registers will help district hospitals improve their information management practices, and will provide management teams with more reliable tools to support evidence-based planning, performance monitoring and resource allocation decisions.