Monday, January 9, 2023.
“We must win national awards. Do not report bad outcomes in the national data.”
Dr. Dr. Anibie: I called this meeting of Doctors to address the poor statistics we had last month. We had 5 maternal mortalities and 22 perinatal mortalities last month. Before last month, we had not recorded any maternal mortality or perinatal mortality in two years. We have been winning national awards for decades. These figures mean that this year we shall not receive any award. What is going on?
Dr. T: Sir, there is more to it. I think we should call Mr. Agoronefom our Biostatistician. He can explain issues better.
Dr. Dr. Anibie: Call Mr. Agoronefom.
Dr. T: I have called him he is on his way.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Today is today!
Dr. R: Kwaku Nkrabea has started his arrogance.
A: Don’t mind Kwaku Nkrabea. He thinks he is all knowing.
Dr. Dr. Anibie: Kwaku Nkrabea, is there anything you want me to know?
Kwaku Nkrabea: Sir. Five months ago, my cousin came to this hospital and had preterm delivery of twins. Sadly she died from postpartum haemorrhage because we didn’t have blood in our blood bank. All the blood had been sent to Opompojay Specialist Hospital for their elective surgeries. The preterm babies also died a few days later. What pained me most was that at the end of the year, our hospital was declared the best hospital in the country for zero maternal mortality and perinatal mortality. Many of our bad outcomes are not recorded in the DHIMS 2.
Dr. T: Sir, Mr. Agoronefom is here.
Dr. Dr. Anibie: Mr. Agoronefom, is it true that we are not recording our bad outcomes?
Mr. Agoronefom: Sir, please let me explain.
The District Health Information Management System 2 (DHIMS 2) is used nationwide to aid the reporting of routine health data and facilitate planning and decision-making. I put in the data of our hospital. I do this every month. But I am not the only person with the password. Prof. Asempa also has the password and edits many of the things I put there before they are final. He tells me many of the things I put there as maternal and perinatal mortalities are technically not so. This issue wouldn’t have come up if Prof. Asempa isn’t on sick leave.
A: I told you. As for Kwaku Nkrabea, even if a car knocks down a pregnant woman and she dies, he will say it is a maternal mortality because the pregnancy made the woman slow. The woman would have walked faster and reached home before the car arrived if she wasn’t pregnant.
Kwaku Nkrabea: A, let’s be serious here. A country cannot develop if we cannot generate quality data for planning. Why should we be so obsessed about winning individual and institutional awards so that we forge data? This is not good.
C: What is not good? Most institutions do the same thing. We can never win awards if we don’t look at the data well before we submit.
Kwaku Nkrabea: Dr. Dr. Anibie, it is so bad. Sometimes patients are referred to the Regional Hospital over 100km away on the bad roads because some doctors think they will die and spoil our records. Some do not have the money to go to the Regional Hospital and die at home. Many die before reaching the Regional Hospital. I believe we could have saved the lives of many of them if we kept them and did our best if they couldn’t afford to go to the next level of referral. But many of the doctors are obsessed with zero mortality rate and will discharge them at all cost.
D: Kwaku Nkrabea, if you keep these patients on the wards, you will attend to them alone.
E: Kwaku Nkrabea thinks he is the Father of Medicine.
F: Why should Kwaku Nkrabea be preaching to us everyday? I am tired of this.
G: Dr. Dr. Anibie, as Acting Medical Director, you should do what Prof Asempa was doing. You must protect the image of our hospital.
To be continued.
The characters in this piece are fictitious; any resemblance to real people or facts within your Corporate Institution is pure coincidence only.