Objective: Accurate assessment of quality of care is a fundamental first step in the process of quality improvement. The vast amount of data generated in a hospital mandates some form of computerization for management of information. We describe a locally developed simple computer based program to access relevant information from a hospital patient management network. The objective was to reduce the amount of manual work involved for busy clinicians attempting to audit quality of care. Methods: A single surgical procedure, Laparscopic Cholecystectomy was chosen. Quality indicators were identified by literature review as conversion rate from laparoscopic to open cholecystemoy and length of hospital stay (LOS). A simple query was developed to extract the required information from hospital database. Commercially available spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel) was used to calculate the rates. Outliers were defined as LOS more than 1 standard deviation from the mean. The second part of the study involved a manual review of case notes to validate the program and determine the causes for deviation from the mean. Results: The program was able to access and process data as planned. In a one-year period from March 1997 to February 1998, two hundred and thirty one laparoscopic cholecystectomies were attempted. Twenty-three were converted to open procedures given a conversion rate of 9.96%. On manual review of case notes no false positives or false negatives were found. The reasons for conversion were similar to those described in the literature. The mean length of stay for laparoscopic Cholecystectomy was 3.39 days and 7.17 days for converted cases. The commonest reason for delay in discharge was noted to be non-availablility of elective operating time. Conclusion: We have successfully developed and used a simple computer based program to access information stored in hospital patient management systems. Quality of care indicators identified from literature were used as standards. Outliers with respect to these were reviewed in detail to identify causes for deviation. The program was validated by manual review.
|Number of pages
|Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
|Published - Sept 2001