Apart from comments received in the course of the workshops mentioned above, feedback on the availability and usefulness of the MSTG 2 and MPC has been received in several ways including:
• letters and verbal comments from individuals;
• informal comments received during field visits by MEDP staff to health units;
• health centre support visit checklists - these have been designed to assist in the improved structuring of such visits by senior clinical staff to peripheral units. They are intended to enhance systematic monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of health centre and patient management.
Sections of the checklist record:
a) the availability of reference documents (including the MSTG);
b) compliance by prescribers with recommended treatments;
c) comments on the usefulness of the MSTG;
d) corrective advice to prescribers on specific cases/treatments where errors have been detected, making reference to the relevant sections of the reference texts.
All comments so far, both national and international, have been extremely favourable. The MSTG has reached virtually all of its intended audience, is in regular daily use by all levels of prescribers and is found to be a user-friendly and vital reference source.
What is not yet known is whether the systematic introduction of the MSTG 2 (and MPC) through the district prescriber workshops has had any impact on prescribing practices and thus whether there is greater compliance with recommended treatment protocols (see Tip #10, page 14). Although a national base-line study on prescribing practices was not performed prior to the introduction of the new texts, prescribing data for one district is available in the form of out-patient registers (see below). Thus for this district at least, it will be possible to compare prescriber compliance before and after the introduction of the texts.