A clinical audit of the Durban University of Technology homoeopathic satellite clinic established at Ukuba Nesibindi
In collaboration with Lifeline, Durban University of Technology (DUT) established its first satellite homoeopathic community clinic; Ukuba Nesibindi Homoeopathic Clinic (UNHC). UNHC provides a free homoeopathic primary healthcare service on the third floor of the LifeLine building in Warwick junction, Durban, an area which is classified as being disadvantaged with high crime rates, prostitution, violence, small, informal business and low cost housing. The clinic is run by 4th and 5th year homoeopathic students under the supervision of a qualified homoeopathic practitioner and funded totally by the Department of Homoeopathy – DUT. The purpose of this retrospective clinical audit of UNHC was to determine a patient demographic and disease prevalence profile, as well as identify and describe the major medicines prescribed. Methodology The study used a retrospective, explanatory, and descriptive design method by means of a clinical audit, to determine a patient demographic and disease prevalence profile, as well as identify and describe the various homoeopathic treatment modalities. All the patient files from June 2004 – June 2008 were included for analysis and the data collection spreadsheet (Appendix D) was compiled respectively. IV The data collection form was divided into patient demographics, information on number of consultations and follow-ups, clinical diagnoses, urine dipstick analysis, patient referral information and medicines prescribed. The researcher captured the data, which was analysed and various means of descriptive statistics applied using Excel from Microsoft Office® 2007. Results UNHC opened in 2004 and initially only operated two afternoons per week; in order to cope with the demand for this service which grew rapidly in 2006 an additional consultation afternoon was added. A total number of 862 patients were seen between June 2004 and June 2008, 497 being new patients and 365 being follow up patients. On average 56% of patients came back for more than one follow up consultation during the study period. The majority of patients who attended UNHC during the study period were African females between 40 and 64 years of age who were unemployed and single. Of the 5 most prevalent systemic disorders encountered at UNHC infectious disorders were the most frequent along with cardiovascular, dermatological, psychological and musculoskeletal disorders. Conclusion The significant increase in patient numbers at UNHC and the relatively high percentage of patients who returned for more than one follow up consultation are positive trends and suggestive of UNHC’s success in providing homoeopathic primary healthcare as well as the positive impact it has had on the surrounding community. With additional funding UNHC can improve service provision further; dedicated translators as well as various equipment to facilitate administration will streamline the consultation process significantly and allow for more patients to be seen. Expansion of the scope of diagnostic services provided such as pregnancy and glucose testing will reduce the need for referral for such basic services. V Future studies should formally measure patient benefit in response to treatment in the form of a patient benefit survey; qualitative measures of patient satisfaction with the service provided by UNHC are also warranted.