Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Auditing and improving notification and chemoprophylaxis in bacterial meningitis.
  1. I Harvey,
  2. S Kaul,
  3. T J Peters
  1. University of Wales, College of Medicine, Cathays Park, Cardiff, United Kingdom.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to audit, against agreed standards, the control of bacterial meningitis, in particular completeness of notification and appropriateness of distribution of chemoprophylaxis to contacts; and to implement appropriate changes and monitor their impact. DESIGN--The first phase involved determination, for the years 1983 and 1984, of completeness of notification by comparison with a comprehensive case register. Information about chemoprophylaxis was obtained from case notes, questionnaires to general practitioners and other records. The second phase involved introducing a programme of clinician education in the hospital with the poorest observed notification performance and re-examining performance during 1988. Districtwide education regarding chemoprophylaxis was undertaken and the situation re-examined in 1988. SETTING--The study took place in Mid Glamorgan Health Authority (population 536,000), with four acute hospitals. POPULATION--Consisted of all the residents of Mid Glamorgan Health Authority. MAIN RESULTS--During the first phase of the audit only 28 out of 79 cases of bacterial meningitis were notified (35%). Performance in one hospital was significantly worse than in the other three. Chemoprophylaxis was distributed to 20 out of 26 (77%) cases of meningococcal meningitis but inappropriate drugs were used in four cases and prophylaxis was distributed more widely than is recommended in 10 cases. In the phase 2 re-examination, a significant improvement in notification was observed in the hospital where special measures were taken, with no change in a "control" hospital. Chemoprophylaxis improved throughout the District, although rifampicin continued to be distributed too widely. CONCLUSIONS--As a result of this audit, measurable improvements in both infectious disease notification and chemoprophylaxis practice were obtained by the education of clinicians. The study provides a good example of a completed audit cycle in public health medicine.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.