Introducing a more efficient and effective patient chart in Sierra Leone

SIAPS recently helped train 55 hospital staff on how to use a new and improved patient chart in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The training, which took place May 6 at the University of Sierra Leone Teaching Hospital Complex at Connaught Hospital, was attended by 15 doctors, 35 nurses, and 5 pharmacists. The SIAPS team in Sierra Leone helped develop the new patient register, which is intended to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and promote rational medicine use. It was piloted at Connaught Hospital in 2015 and refined after a user survey.

The paper-based patient registration process that most health facilities currently use has several drawbacks. The form is too small to adequately record information, and the lack of complete patient information can lead to misdiagnosis and treatment.

The new registers rely on a checklist to minimize writing and expedite data recording. For example, a peripheral health unit-specific register lists the top 10 diagnoses and prescribed medicines. At larger facilities, the list is expanded to 20. The daily registers are combined into a monthly report of stock use and status. The new registers also serves as a quality and quantity control mechanism for supervisors to check the accuracy and progress of activities related to treatment and supplies using an indicator-based checklist. Each health provider is required to provide a signature for all prescriptions, which promotes accountability and transparency.

More than 8,000 copies of the new, improved, and user friendly treatment and summary report registers are being printed, which will supply approximately 1,300 health facilities for one year.

Read more about SIAPS in Sierra Leone here.