"Quality of prenatal and maternal care: bridging the know-do gap" (QUALMAT study): an electronic clinical decision support system for rural Sub-Saharan Africa

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Antje BlankWalter E Haefeli


Despite strong efforts to improve maternal care, its quality remains deficient in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa as persistently high maternal mortality rates testify. The QUALMAT study seeks to improve the performance and motivation of rural health workers and ultimately quality of primary maternal health care services in three African countries Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Tanzania. One major intervention is the introduction of a computerized Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for rural primary health care centers to be used by health care workers of different educational levels. A stand-alone, java-based software, able to run on any standard hardware, was developed based on assessment of the health care situation in the involved countries. The software scope was defined and the final software was programmed under consideration of test experiences. Knowledge for the decision support derived from the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline "Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum and Newborn Care; A Guide for Essential Practice". The QUALMAT CDSS provides computerized guidance and clinical decision support for antenatal care, and care during delivery and up to 24 hours post delivery. The decision support is based on WHO gui...Continue Reading


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