|The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository holds full-text theses and dissertations submitted for higher degrees at the University (including submissions from former Cape Technikon and Peninsula Technikon).|
Information practices in midwifery: a case study of an antenatal and intrapartum care environment in the Western Cape, South Africa
MetadataShow full item record
Research on health informatics has seen a steady increase during this decade as the role of information technology in the health sector becomes pertinent. Findings of previous research in this domain have uncovered vast information needs of health workers, particularly in developing countries. However, there is a need to continue with multidisciplinary research in priority areas such as midwifery practice and in the environment of marginalised settings. This study explores the significance of the information needs and information-seeking behaviour or practice of midwives during the antenatal and intrapartum care within the environment of a midwifery unit. Additionally, the researcher obtained permission from Faculty of Informatics and Design – CPUT and Health department authority – Western Cape Government in South Africa, to conduct research in the Elsies River Midwifery Obstetric Unit (ERMOU). The research was carried out as case study in a Midwifery Obstetric Unit in the Western Cape, South Africa. The investigator conducted semi-structured interviews and observations to collect qualitative data of the antenatal and intrapartum care environment. The data was transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis and essomenic modelling. The findings comprehensively point to the importance of this research context. The study found that midwives acquired patients’ information from a handwritten Maternity Case Record (MCR) book and midwives’ colleagues, and often during handovers. In addition, midwives also communicate with each other during care activities in the ERMOU. It was apparent that the use of such communication practices is inadequate, and midwives did not always have sufficient information to make appropriate decisions in the ERMOU. All patient information, referral notes, and reporting is paper-based. In addition, essomenic models were used to depict the midwives’ work activities in the antenatal and intrapartum care environment in the Unit. Furthermore, essomenic models defined all the systematic processes that occur in the ERMOU which is described by midwives’ activities and work environment. To improve communication, future research is recommended to consider the importance of the continuity of the education of midwives. Further research will be on the implementation of nursing informatics and the electronic health record system in the Elsies River Midwifery Obstetric Unit.