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An epidemic free environment enhances the health status of all citizens in the community. The passive disease surveillance and notification systems occasioned by haphazard patient records management practices in the health facilities have led to devastating consequences on epidemic control in Osun State. This is why a sustainable epidemic control depends on the extent to which patient records management practices and disease surveillance and notification systems issues are given serious consideration by the medical and health officers in local government areas. The extent to which the medical and health professionals pay attention to these patient records management practices and disease surveillance and notification systems issues is not clear. The study, investigated the influence of patient records management practices, diseases surveillance and notification systems on epidemic control in all the local government areas of Osun State, Nigeria.
The survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was three hundred and six (306) medical and health officers in the 30 local government areas of Osun State. Total enumeration technique was used to cover all the 306 health care professionals in the 30 local government areas. A validated questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The reliability coefficient for the variables ranged from (α=0.81) to (α=0.89) and the overall Cronbach’s alpha reliability co efficient was (α=0.85). The response rate of 93.1% was obtained and data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential (simple correlation, Pearson Product Moment Correlation coefficient and regression) statistics.
Findings revealed that a positive and significant relationship existed between patient records management practices (r=.641, p<0.05), disease surveillance and notification systems (r=.732, p<0.05) and epidemic control. Findings further revealed that patient records management practices and disease surveillance and notification systems had joint influence on epidemic control (Adj. R2=.600; F(2,282)=124.071; p<0.05). Results further indicated that the more potent predictor of epidemic control was disease surveillance and notification systems (β=.504; t=8.551; p<0.05) and the second potent predictor is patient records management practices (β=.237; t=4.084; p<0.05). This implies that, the relative influences of patient records management practices and disease surveillance and notification systems had a significant influence on epidemic control, which means a unit increase in epidemic control activities has a high tendency to improve at the increase in each of the independent variables.
The study concluded that patient records management practices and disease surveillance and notification systems relatively interplayed to influence epidemic control in the local government areas of Osun State. The study recommended that, the medical and health professionals should be exposed to significant training on disease surveillance and notification systems, and patient records management practices, in order to ensure epidemic free environment in the state. The government should employ more health care professionals at health facility level for an effective epidemic control in Osun State.
Keywords: Patient records management practices, Disease notification, Disease
surveillance and notification systems, Epidemic control, Records management practices
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