Evaluating the process and outcomes of child death review in the Solomon Islands
AuthorSandakabatu, M; Nasi, T; Titiulu, C; Duke, T
Source TitleArchives of Disease in Childhood
PublisherBMJ PUBLISHING GROUP
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSandakabatu, M., Nasi, T., Titiulu, C. & Duke, T. (2018). Evaluating the process and outcomes of child death review in the Solomon Islands. ARCHIVES OF DISEASE IN CHILDHOOD, 103 (7), pp.685-+. https://doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2017-314662.
Access StatusOpen Access
While maternal and perinatal mortality auditing has been strongly promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been very limited promotion or evaluation of child death auditing in low/middle-income settings. In 2017, a standardised child death review process was introduced in the paediatric department of the National Hospital in Honiara, Solomon Islands. We evaluated the process and outcomes of child death reviews. The child death auditing process was assessed through systematic observations made at each of the weekly meetings using the following standards for evaluation: (1) adapted WHO tools for paediatric auditing; (2) the five stages of the audit cycle; (3) published principles of paediatric audit; and (4) WHO and Solomon Islands national clinical standards of Hospital Care for Children. Thirty-three child death review meetings were conducted over 6 months, reviewing 66 neonatal and child deaths. Some areas of the process were satisfactory and other areas were identified for improvement. The latter included use of a more systematic classification of causes of death, inclusion of social risk factors and community problems in the modifiable factors and more follow-up with implementation of action plans. Areas for improvement were in communication, clinical assessment and treatment, availability of laboratory tests, antenatal clinic attendance and equipment for high dependency neonatal and paediatric care. Many of the changes recommended by audit require a quality improvement team to implement. Child death auditing can be done in resource-limited settings and yield useful information of gaps which are linked to preventable deaths; however, using the data to produce meaningful changes in practice is the greatest challenge. Audit is an iterative and evolving process that needs a structure, tools, evaluation, and needs to be embedded in the culture of a hospital as part of overall quality improvement, and requires a quality improvement team to follow-up and implement action plans.
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