Death from dengue fever as a sentinel event for evaluation of quality of healthcare: a case study in two municipalities in Northeast Brazil, 2008

Despite the existing resources for adequate dengue patient care in the Brazilian healthcare system, the case-fatality rate for the disease is still high in the country. In order to identify factors associated with dengue-related death, this study evaluated quality of care according to the degree of implementation of specific measures, the technical and scientific quality of care, and access to health services in two municipalities (counties) in Northeast Brazil. An evaluative study of the implementation analysis type was performed, with death from dengue as the sentinel event for quality of care. To assess the degree of implementation and quality of care, the study scored the interview criteria and patient chart analysis; access was evaluated by thematic analysis. As for structure and process, the health services were found to be partially adequate (70%). No geographic or economic barriers were found to explain the occurrence of deaths. Technical and scientific quality failed to achieve adequate levels in the municipalities (46% and 30%) or in the specific services, and clinical management of dengue by the health services proved insufficient.

Dengue; Health Evaluation; Delivery of Health Care; Sentinel Surveillance

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