Antimalarial prescription in a public hospital outpatient setting in Kenya: A best practice implementation project

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Abstract

Background:

Important gaps still exist in malaria case management despite implementation of the World Health Organization parasitological diagnosis before treatment recommendation. This calls for evidence-based strategies to improve health providers’ adherence to these guidelines.

Objective:

The goal of this project was to improve adherence of confirmed parasitological diagnosis prior to antimalarial prescription in the outpatient department.

Methods:

The Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System program was used to facilitate collection of baseline and post-audit data. The Getting Research into Practice program was also utilized to analyze the potential barriers and for designing the intervention strategies. This study was done during a 7-month period in an outpatient department of public health facility in Kenya.

Results:

Baseline and post-implementation audit results comparison indicate that there was a clinically significant improvement in all three criteria. One hundred percent of health providers underwent training on malaria case management, an improvement from 24% at baseline. Almost all (98%) suspected cases for malaria were tested for malaria parasite, and 98% doses of antimalarial drug dispensed had documentation indicating that the malaria test result was positive, an increase of 74%.

Conclusion:

This study successfully increased the adherence to malaria parasitological confirmation before the treatment recommendation. The interdepartmental collaboration facilitated improvements that led to a reduction in presumptive prescription of antimalarial drugs, antimalarial medication costs, and potentially the emergence of drug resistance.

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