Quality of comprehensive emergency obstetric care through the lens of clinical documentation on admission to labour ward

  • RJ Kosgei
  • D Gathara
  • RK Kamau
  • S Babu
  • S Mueke
  • EJ Cheserem
  • E Kihuba
  • J Karumbi
  • M Mulaku
  • J Aluvaala
  • M English
  • AB Kihara


Background: Clinical documentation gives a chronological order of procedures and activities that a patient is given during their management.

Objective: To determine the level of quality of comprehensive emergency obstetric care, through the lens of clinical documentation of process indicators of selected emergency obstetric conditions that mostly cause maternal mortality on admission to labour ward

Design: Multi-site cross sectional survey.

Setting: Twenty two Government Hospitals in Kenya with capacity to offer comprehensive emergency obstetric care.

Subjects: Process variables were abstracted from patient’ case records with a diagnosis of normal vaginal delivery, obstetric haemorrhage, severe pre eclampsia/eclampsia and emergency cesarean section.

Results: Availability of structure indicators were graded excellent and good except for long gloves, misoprostol, ergometrin and parenteral cefuroxime that were graded low. A total of 1,216 records were abstracted for process analysis. The median (IQR) for the: six variables of obstetric history was five (4-5); five variables of antenatal profile was four (1-5); five variables of vital signs documentation was three (2-4); five variables for obstetric exam was four (4-5); seven variables of vaginal examination one (0-2); ten variables for partograph was seven (2-9); five variables for obstetric hemorrhage was three (2-4) and eleven variables for severe pre-eclampsia/eclampsia was five (3-6). The median (IQR) from decision-to-operate to caesarean section was three (2-4) hours.

Conclusion: Quality of emergency obstetric care based on documentation depicts inadequacy. There is an urgent need to objectively address the need for proper clinical documentation as an indicator of quality performance.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0012-835X