Quality of paediatric care at King Edward VIII hospital.
The purpose of health service research is to produce knowledge that will contribute to the improvement in the delivery of health care and it is in this spirit that this study of the quality of paediatric care at King Edward VIII Hospital was undertaken. The main method utilized was an evaluation of aspects of the process of care of selected conditions, as measured against a predefined set of standards. This was accomplished by a retrospective review of patient records. Assessments were also made of the utilization of the Department's services, manpower and equipment. The surveys conducted involved the Outpatient's Department, the General and the Neonatal Wards of the Paediatric Department of the King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban. The Hospital Administration's routine and computerized data were also analyzed. Among the findings was that the routinely collected data is inadequate,providing only limited information for management purposes. The assertion that the utilization of the Department is high was confirmed, as was the claim that some resources are inadequate to cope with increasing demand. Many factors contribute to this, including high bed occupancy, high patient to doctor ratios, and several factors outside of direct hospital control (primary care services). The general clinical care of patients is high, but particular aspects were found to be in need of attention; for example, the metabolic and fluid management of the ill young patient and medical records in general. Immediate and long-term recommendations pertaining to the Paediatric Department and the Administration are presented.