Assessment of the use of the new maternity case record in improving the quality of ante-natal care in eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal
Cele, Reginah Jabulisile
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Brief background to the study The national guidelines for maternity care in South Africa recommend that a standardised maternity case record be used by all facilities at all levels of care in order to improve the quality of care for pregnant women. According to the National Department of Health, this will facilitate continuity and quality of care for women during pregnancy, labour and post-partum. Aim of the study The aim of the study was to assess whether the implementation of the new maternity case record has improved the quality of care for pregnant women. Methodology An exploratory, descriptive study using both quantitative and qualitative design was used to conduct the study. Data was collected through a retrospective record review using a checklist for the quantitative strand, and from midwives using unstructured interviews for the qualitative strand. The quantitative data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 21.0 and the qualitative strand was analysed using the Tesch’s method of data analysis. Results The results of the record review revealed that although the recording was done fairly well, there were a number of activities and interventions that were recorded poorly or not recorded at all in some primary health care clinic. The midwives verbalised that many mistakes and mismanagement of ante-natal care clients emanated from the structure and the design of the new maternity case record. Recommendations Recommendations include the following: communication of policies and protocols to the midwives should be done timeously, provision of in-service education and/or updates on new developments, strengthening of supportive supervision, the Nursing colleges be kept up-to-date with new developments in nursing practice and that a broader study involving other districts and provinces be conducted.