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Multi-professional teams care for sick newborns, but nurses are the primary caregivers, making nursing care documentation essential for delivering high-quality care, fostering teamwork, and improving patient outcomes. We report on an evaluation of vital signs documentation following implementation of the comprehensive newborn monitoring chart using interrupted time series analysis and a review of filled charts. We collected post-admission vital signs (Temperature (T), Pulse (P), Respiratory Rate (R) and Oxygen Saturation (S)) documentation frequencies of 43,719 newborns with a length of stay > 48 hours from 19 public hospitals in Kenya between September 2019 and October 2021. The primary outcome was an ordinal categorical variable (no monitoring, monitoring 1 to 3 times, 4 to 7 times and 8 or more times) based on the number of complete sets of TPRS. Descriptive analyses explored documentation of at least one T, P, R and S. The percentage of patients in the no-monitoring category decreased from 68.5% to 43.5% in the post-intervention period for TPRS monitoring. The intervention increased the odds of being in a higher TPRS monitoring category by 4.8 times (p<0.001) and increased the odds of higher monitoring frequency for each vital sign, with S recording the highest odds. Sicker babies were likely to have vital signs documented in a higher monitoring category and being in the NEST360 program increased the odds of frequent vital signs documentation. However, by the end of the intervention period, nearly half of the newborns did not have a single full set of TPRS documented and there was heterogenous hospital performance. A review of 84 charts showed variable documentation, with only one chart being completed as designed. Vital signs documentation fell below standards despite increased documentation odds. More sustained interventions are required to realise the benefits of the chart and hospital-specific performance data may help customise interventions.

Original publication




Journal article


PLOS Glob Public Health

Publication Date