Quality Assurance in Oral Health Care in the Manya Krobo District

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The Ministry of Health has stated in its Health Sector five year program of work that, among the constraints to improving the health status of Ghanaians, is the inadequate service quality. A quality assurance program has been developed in the Eastern Region and Atua Hospital is one of the facilities that has been involved in the program. Oral health care is considered as one aspect of the overall health and welfare of society. The quality assurance program as such covers oral health care. The principal objective of the study was to assess the quality of oral health care in the Manya Krobo District in the light of the Quality Assurance Program. The Donabedian framework of structure, process and outcome was used in the assessment of the quality of oral health care and the program. Using this framework, the quality and quantity of staff, the equipment available, the financial state of the unit and the state of patient records were assessed under the structural component of quality. The interpersonal relationship, specifically, the examination of patients, choices available to patients as well as an aspect of technical skills - infection control, were studied. The training opportunities offered to staff were also assessed. The satisfaction of patients was studied as an indicator of the outcome of quality of oral health care. This case study employed qualitative as well as quantitative methods. The sampling was purposive and the techniques for data collection included, review of records, interviews involving key informants, individuals and a focus group. An observation was carried out at the dental unit of the hospital. Structured questionnaire was also administered to some staff of the hospital. Results obtained indicated the existence of a quality assurance program in operation with management support. The unit was found to be adequately equipped. Moreover, the unit was understaffed and the assistants did not have the requisite skills. Information recorded on patients’ cards was adequate. Majority of the patients interviewed were satisfied with the interpersonal relationship. The waiting area was found to be unsatisfactory. It is recommended that training should be intensified to improve the skills of the staff and also to empower them to improve on the work process.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Health Services Planning and Management, 1999