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Health Systems Collaborative Research Highlights

The problem with ‘My Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’

Posted 21/09/2021. The WHO's ‘5 moments’ is the dominant paradigm for hand hygiene globally. While ‘5 moments' has many benefits and has had a significant clinical impact, it also has many weaknesses. Jacob McKnight and colleagues explore how this important paradigm can be improved to reflect the latest research in hand hygiene.

Task-sharing to support paediatric and child health service delivery in low- and middle-income countries: current practice and a scoping review of emerging opportunities

Posted 27/08/2021. Demographic and epidemiological changes have prompted thinking on the need to broaden the child health agenda to include care for paediatric complex and chronic conditions, however such expansion is threatened by workforce shortages. Yingxi Zhao and colleagues reviewed how task sharing could support expanded paediatrics services provision in LMICs, especially beyond acute infectious diseases and malnutrition that are widely and historically shifted.

An innovative leadership development initiative to support building everyday resilience in health systems

Posted 23/07/2021. Effective management and leadership are essential for everyday health system resilience, but health managers are often under-prepared and under-supported in these roles. Particular challenges have been observed in communication skills, emotional competence and supportive oversight. Jacinta Nzinga and colleagues share their learning from implementing a package of leadership development interventions in Kenya

Model for developing context-sensitive responses to vulnerability in research: managing ethical dilemmas faced by frontline research staff in Kenya

Posted 20/07/2021. The ethical dilemmas faced by frontline staff conducting health research among ‘vulnerable’ populations are increasingly recognized. However, there is little documented on how staff might be supported in identifying and handling these dilemmas. Sassy Molyneux and colleagues share an approach and tools they developed in Kenya, centred on group reflections linked to a set of policy responses tailored to the context. They encourage further adaptation and evaluation of the approach

Neonatal mortality in Kenyan hospitals: a multisite, retrospective, cohort study

Posted 18/06/2021. Grace Irimu and colleagues show that newborns account for 46% of admissions and 66% of deaths among children 0-13years in Kenyan hospitals. Most deaths are caused by preventable and treatable causes. The authors call for need to prioritize newborn care for Kenya to achieve the SDGs target.

Improving the Usability and Safety of Digital Health Systems: The Role of Predictive Human-Computer Interaction Modeling

Posted 09/06/2021. Chris Paton and colleagues describe how predictive human-computer interaction (HCI) modelling could be used to improve the safety and usability of digital health systems. We reviewed the history of predictive modelling in HCI and describe how modelling could be integrated with the human-centred design techniques used when developing digital health interventions.

The counterintuitive self-regulated learning behaviours of healthcare providers from low-income settings

Posted 13/04/2021. Self-regulated learning (SRL) remains unexplored for healthcare workers in low-income countries. Tim Tuti, Chris Paton and Niall Winters detail how SRL strategies impact on healthcare providers’ learning gains when using digital learning platforms. We apply Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) to questionnaire responses. We provide insights into the learner factors to consider when implementing technology-mediated learning.

How to do no harm: empowering local leaders to make care safer in low-resource settings

Posted 31/03/2021. Patient safety is a key goal of WHO but identifying harms and developing strategies to deliver safe care has been given little attention. Mike English and colleague describe a ‘portfolio’ approach to safety improvement in four broad categories: prioritising critical processes, improving the organisation of care, control of risks and enhancing responses to hazardous situations that we believe is relevant to low resource settings. We focus attention on the possible roles of practitioner groups and professional associations as key to advancing patient safety through collaboration and skill development in this field

Designing paper‐based records to improve the quality of nursing documentation in hospitals

Posted 22/02/2021. Paper continues to be an important medium for recording inpatient care in low‐ and middle‐income countries. Naomi Muinga and colleagues synthesise evidence on how paper‐based nursing records have been developed within inpatient settings to support documentation of nursing care, and that a human‐centred design approach might better meet users' needs

Factors influencing the sustainability of digital health interventions in low-resource settings: Lessons from five countries

Posted 12/02/2021. The majority of digital health projects have failed to translate into scaled, routine services, leaving many health leaders cautious and uncertain of how to proceed. Chris Paton and colleagues identify factors that can influence successful and sustainable integration of digital health within local health systems in low resource settings.

Tools for measuring medical internship experience: a scoping review

Posted 26/01/2021. Appropriate and well-resourced medical internship training is important to ensure psychological health and well-being of doctors in training and also to recruit and retain these doctors. Yingxi Zhao and colleagues identified and described a large number of tools designed for measuring medical internship experience, to help medical educators and human resource managers make an evidence-based decision on designing surveys to understand interns’ experience of training.

First do no harm: practitioners’ ability to ‘diagnose’ system weaknesses and improve safety is a critical initial step in improving care quality

Posted 08/01/2021. Patient safety is much less well studied in low-resource settings than in higher income settings. Mike English and colleagues suggest how concepts being employed to advance patient safety thinking in higher income settings could be usefully applied by practitioners in low-resource settings. The ability to diagnose system weaknesses should become a core skill for those leading teams, wards, departments or facilities in low-resource settings

Development of locally relevant clinical guidelines for procedure-related neonatal analgesic practice in Kenya

Posted 03/09/2020. Cian Wade, Mike English and colleagues brought together a large body of evidence to inform recommendations for Kenya on neonatal analgesic guidelines for routine procedures. They describe the process by which a group of local experts translated systematic review and meta-analysis findings into context-specific clinical guidelines. The work emphasises the value of breastfeeding or breast milk as an important and feasible therapeutic strategy for alleviating neonatal pain.

The paediatrician workforce and its role in addressing neonatal, child and adolescent healthcare in Kenya

Posted 07/07/2020. In a country with 25 million newborns, children and adolescents, how many paediatricians are there and where are they? This paper by Mike English and colleagues seeks to start a debate on how to deliver paediatric services in LMIC in the future.

Data for tracking SDGs: challenges in capturing neonatal data from hospitals in Kenya

Posted 07/04/2020. Data are needed to track progress towards the target to end preventable deaths of newborns in LMICs. Christiane Hagel and colleagues report on the challenges of neonatal data capture and the wider health information system in LMICs. With use cases from Kenyan hospitals and visualisations of neonatal information flow they show the complex people- and paper-based subsystem of the District Health Information Software, version 2 (DHIS2) - a widely used data platform which forms part of the health information system in LMICs

Collective strategies to cope with work related stress among nurses in resource constrained settings

Posted 10/01/2020. Our ethnography aimed to describe Nairobi’s inpatient newborn wards and the busy lives of the nurses who work there. They work long hours with little supervision in ill-designed wards, staffed by far too few nurses given the pressing need. Under these difficult conditions, the collective model of nursing that develops reduces nurses’ exposure to stress and anxiety. Jacob McKnight and colleagues describe how these coping methods have implications for the quality of care and limit the potential for a patient-centred approach.

Missed nursing care in newborn units: a cross-sectional direct observational study

Posted 14/06/2019. Insufficient nurses caring for sick babies on hospitals’ neonatal units in Kenya seriously undermine efforts to deliver high quality, safe care and make reducing neonatal mortality rates very difficult. Led by David Gathara, the Kenyan and Oxford team conducted the first ever direct observational study of which tasks nurses were able to perform and quantified how much care is missed. Previous work on missed nursing care largely conducted in rich countries has relied on questionnaires so this new work is an important advance.

LIFE, a new smartphone app to train healthworkers to save lives

The Life-saving Instruction for Emergencies (LIFE) is a 3D simulation training app for smartphones that teaches healthcare workers how to manage medical emergencies. LIFE is a scenario-based mobile and virtual reality (VR) gaming platform that teaches healthcare workers to identify and manage medical emergencies using game-like training techniques to reinforce the key steps that need to be performed in order to save lives.

Exploring the space for task shifting to support nursing on neonatal wards in Kenyan public hospitals

Posted 09/04/2019. An ethnography work on neonatal nursing, led by Jacinta Nzinga in Nairobi, shows that to cope with incredibly high workloads, informal task shifting is already happening where non-clinical tasks are delegated to students, mothers and support staff. However, nurses are anxious about professional boundaries and the added responsibilities of supervising a potential new cadre.

Implementing an Open Source Electronic Health Record System in Kenyan Health Care Facilities

Posted 22/05/2018. A new Case Study by Naomi Muinga from the Global Health Informatics Group reports on the challenges faced implementing an Open Source Electronic Health Record system in Kenya and the strategies employed by the Ministry of Health and development teams for increasing user adoption as the system is scaled up.

How can we implement paediatric care practices in Kenyan hospitals?

Posted 08/09/2017. Changing the practices of health care workers in multiple hospitals in low-income settings is a major contemporary challenge that requires people to think about the complex set of influences that affect clinicians’ behaviour. In this report, Professor Mike English describes a multi-layered strategy utilising a new implementation typology linked to overarching theories of change.

Developing guidelines in low-income and middle-income countries: lessons from Kenya

Posted 01/08/2017. For more than a decade, Professor Mike English and his team have worked with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and professionals to develop national clinical guidelines. This paper describes how this approach has become both more rigorous and more collaborative while offering lessons to other LMIC on how to develop high quality guidelines with limited resources.