Knowledge, attitudes and practices of healthcare professionals on the use of an electronic stock visibility and management tool in a middle-income country: Implications for access to medicines

Hlalanathi Mbonane, Mncengeli Sibanda*, Brian Godman, Johanna C. Meyer, Moliehi Matlala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The Stock Visibility System (SVS) is a mobile application and web-based management tool used at public primary health care (PHC) facilities in South Africa to capture and monitor medicines availability, providing visibility at national level. Medicine stock-outs are prevalent despite the implementation of SVS, compromising patient care. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the use of the SVS at PHC level to provide future guidance. Method: A cross-sectional study using a structured self-administered questionnaire among 206 HCPs at 21 randomly selected PHC facilities located in a health district in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Closed-ended questions were used to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge on the SVS and practices on its use. A Likert scale was used to determine attitudes towards the SVS. Cronbach's alpha (α) was used to assess the internal consistency of the questionnaire and independent samples t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test statistical difference in the mean scores for KAP and socio-demographic variables. Association between knowledge and practices, and attitude and practices was determined using odds ratios (OR) and Chi-square. Results: The majority (99.5%) of HCPs had previous training on SVS. Nearly two thirds (62.1%; 128/206) generally had good knowledge about the SVS and 76.7% (158/206) had positive attitudes towards the SVS while only 17.0% had a good practice score. There was no statistically significant association between KAP of HCPs on the use of the SVS, and sociodemographic variables (HCP qualification, age and sex). There was a significant association between the knowledge and practice scores (aOR: 5.44; 95% CI: 1.92–15.4; p = 0.001). Although positive attitudes, was associated with good practices, it was not statistically significant (OR: 1.21; 95% CI: 0.46–3.22; p = 0.702). Conclusions: HCPs in this district had poor practices when using SVS despite good knowledge and positive attitudes towards SVS and the higher the HCPs knowledge of SVS, the more desirable the practices on SVS. This underscores the need for continuous training of HCPs to ensure a constant and efficient supply of medicines to meet the health needs of the population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100233
JournalExploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Knowledge, attitudes, practices
  • Primary healthcare
  • Stock availability, South Africa
  • Stock visibility system
  • eHealth

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