Notifiable Disease Reporting among Physicians Practicing in Grenada

Shantel Peters

Abstract


ObjectiveThe study was carried out to determine physicians’ knowledgeof notifiable reporting and to identify the barriers to reporting inGrenada.IntroductionDespite the significance of disease reporting to any health system,Grenada like most countries struggle with underreporting of notifiablediseases by physicians. In order to improve the national diseasesurveillance system in Grenada, it is critical understand the reasonsfor any underreporting. The study was conducted to determinephysicians’ knowledge of notifiable reporting and to identify thebarriers to reporting.MethodsThe Grenada Medical and Dental Council identified a total of129 registered and practicing physicians. A cross-sectional studydesign was developed to obtain information from all registeredand practicing physician. The survey tool included questions ondemographics; training history and medical practice details, as wellas knowledge, practice and barriers to reporting notifiable diseases.The survey was administered to physicians in both paper-based andelectronic formats.ResultsTo date only 13 surveys have been returned. Preliminary data showthat 61.5% of respondents rated an “average” on their knowledge ofwhich diseases are reportable and of those only 46 % knew where toobtain a list of notifiable diseases (NDs). Fifty three percent (53%)of respondents said that they have reported NDs to the relevantauthorities in the past. Thirty eight percent (38.5%) believed it shouldbe the responsibility of nurses to report NDs and 30.8% stated itshould be the physician. The major barriers to reporting, identifiedby the respondents were being too busy, too much time required, andlack of infrastructure or reporting systems. When asked about waysto improve reporting, 38.5% identified improvements to the reportingform, and 30.8% identified education of physicians on reportingprotocol and importance.ConclusionsWhile this is still preliminary data, the majority of the physicianssurveyed had some knowledge of reporting NDs. The barriers toreporting identified were being too busy and lack of infrastructure.Future improvements to the reporting system in Grenada shouldfocus on making forms electronic and less lengthy, and on educatingphysicians on the importance and protocol of reporting NDs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v9i1.7779



Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 * http://ojphi.org