Implementation of an individual patient prospective database of hospital births in Sri Lanka and its use for improving quality of care

Marzia Lazzerini, Hematha Senanayake, Rishard Mohamed, Athula Kaluarachchi, Roshini Fernando, Anshumalie Sakalasuriya, Fathima Reshma Ihsan, Namasivayam Saravanabhava, Nalin Gamaathige, Madura Jayawardane, Ruwan Vidana Gamage, Benedetta Covi, Humphrey Wanzira, Caterina Businelli, Monica Piccoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives This study was aimed at piloting a prospective individual patient database on hospital deliveries in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and at exploring its use for developing recommendations for improving quality of care (QoC). Design Observational study. Setting De Soysa Maternity Hospital, the largest referral hospital for maternity care in Sri Lanka. Data collection and analysis From July 2015 to June 2017, 150 variables were collected for each delivery using a standardised form and entered into a database. Data were analysed every 8 months, and the results made available to local staff. Outcomes of the study included: Technical problems; data completeness; data accuracy; key database findings; and use of data. Results 7504 deliveries were recorded. No technical problem was reported. Data completeness exceeded that of other existing hospital recording systems. Less than 1% data were missing for maternal variables and less than 3% for newborn variables. Mistakes in data collection and entry occurred in 0.01% and 0.09% of maternal and newborn data, respectively. Key QoC indicators identified in comparison with international standards were: Relatively low maternal mortality (0.053%); relatively high maternal near-miss cases (3.4%); high rate of induction of labour (24.6%), caesarean section (30.0%) and episiotomy (56.1%); relatively high rate of preterm births (9.4%); low birthweight rate (16.5%); stillbirth (0.97%); and of total deaths in newborn (1.98%). Based on key indicators identified, a list of recommendations was developed, including the use checklists to standardise case management, training, clinical audits and more information for patients. A list of lessons learnt with the implementation of the data collection system was also drawn. Conclusions The study shows that the implemented system of data collection can produce a large quantity of reliable information. Most importantly, this experience provides an example on how database findings can be used for discussing hospital practices, identifying gaps and to agree on recommendations for improving QoC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023706
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019


  • international health services
  • maternal medicine
  • quality in health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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