Background: Globally, mobile health (mHealth) applications are known for their potential to improve healthcare providers’ access to relevant and reliable health information. Besides, electronic decision support tools, such as the Safe Delivery mHealth Application (SDA), help to reduce clinical errors and to ensure quality care at the point of service delivery. The current study assessed the effects of the SDA on basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) outcomes for the most frequent complications in Rwanda; post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) and newborn asphyxia and its complications.
Methods: The study adopted a quasi-experimental design. A pre-intervention record review of the BEmONC outcomes: Apgar score and PPH progressions, was conducted. The intervention took place in two district hospitals in Rwanda and entails the implementation of the SDA for six months. Six months’ post-intervention, the effect of the SDA on BEmONC outcomes was evaluated. The study included 327 participants (114 cases of PPH and 213 cases of neonatal complications). The analysis compared the outcome variables between the baseline and the endline data. Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the proportions and test between-group differences and significance level set at p<0.05.
Results: Unstable newborn outcome following neonatal resuscitation was recorded in 61.90% and 27.59% newborns cases at baseline and endline respectively, P-value = 0.000. Unstable maternal outcome following PPH management was recorded in 19.40 % and 6.38% maternal cases at baseline and endline respectively, P-value = 0.048. There was a significant association between the SDA intervention and newborns’ and maternal’ outcomes following neonatal resuscitation and PPH management, 6 months after baseline.
Conclusion: The use of the SDA supported nurses and midwives in the management of PPH and neonatal resuscitation thus improved maternal and neonatal outcomes after 6 months of the SDA intervention.