Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
Primary health care services worldwide are currently experiencing many quality-related problems. Efforts to improve these services appear to be sporadic and unsatisfactory. Investigations have revealed (Sharma & Sharma 2007) that one of the main causes for this state of affairs can be identified as neglected or inadequate documentation of patient/case history. The health care provider (HCP) should be equipped to improve the quality of health care and to take the lead in assuaging the predicament. The present study was undertaken to assess the correlation between asthma control and patient-related case history notes as recorded via the HCP. The data were obtained retrospectively from the patient notes of all asthmatic patients (including children and pregnant women) who attended six selected clinics in the North West Province of South Africa (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Municipal District). The analysis of the data collected from the patient clinic books confirmed the suspicion of poor quality of documentation, although the documentation in certain categories rendered some positive results. When compared to the GINA® guidelines, none of the patients had been controlled properly and only a small number (18.4%) had been controlled partly (GINA 2008). Asthma control may be enhanced when a standard template is developed for completion by the HCP. It is envisaged that this will ensure that vital information regarding asthma control is documented in order to contribute to satisfactory chronic disease control.
Keywords : health care; record keeping; asthma control; documentation; quality.