Benchmarking Interventions Aimed at Improving Neurosurgical Patient Outcomes in Uganda (2019-2020)

This year’s Bass Connections project team began benchmarking, a process through which internal controls are developed to evaluate whether an intervention is truly working. Once benchmarks were set, team members conducted a study to test whether the use of benchmarking increased the impact of interventions aimed at improving neurosurgical patient outcomes.

This past summer, the Patient-Caretaker Education (PCE) Team collaborated with nurses and doctors to create a culturally competent educational video, made in English and Luganda, showcasing proper feeding and care techniques. The video detailed the proper methods used to feed patients, proper hand sanitation practices, and general ward policies. A television was placed on the walls with the video playing on loop.

The Infection Control (IC) Team developed an all-encompassing implementation that would ideally improve aseptic technique and catheter monitoring to minimize the risk of patients contracting UTIs. Parts of this implementation included educating nurses on proper aseptic technique and nurse-initiated checks during rounds to determine if a catheter could be removed. The team also developed a system that would allow for better monitoring of how long catheters had been inserted. The infection rates on the ward decreased by around 25% to 30.5%.

The Medication Management (MM) Team worked with the hospital’s medical illustrations department to revise the old information sheet into visual color-coded posters, allowing it to be more useful to a greater population of the patients/caretakers. The posters worked in tandem with an in-person education session held by local pharmacy students studying at the university that is affiliated with the hospital. Pharmacy students color-coded patients’ medications to correspond with the posters, wrote down the exact dosages and time of day each medication should be administered, and answered any questions the caretakers had.


Summer 2019 – Spring 2020

Team Outputs

Evaluating a Routine Education Program to Improve Patient Aspiration Rates in Mulago Hospital Neurosurgical Ward, Uganda (poster by Sherry Yang, Chinemerem Nwosu, Priyanka Rao, Amina Mohamed, Michael Haglund, Anthony Fuller)

Improving Hand Hygiene through Accessibility in an LMIC Neurosurgical Ward (poster by Samantha Sadler, Bruno Valan, Praruj Pant, Akash D. Patel, Kelsey Graywill, Margaret Lund, Joao Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci, Michael Muhumuza, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Joel Kiryabwire, Michael Haglund, Anthony Fuller)

Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence Among Neurosurgical Patients at Mulago National Referral Hospital (poster by Suzanna Joseph, Jonah Sinclair, Sarah Rapaport, Garrett Holmes, Hyun Keun Ahn, Raahina Malik, Winnie Nambatya, M. Pharm, Michael Muhumuza, Michael Haglund, Anthony Fuller)

Improving Neurosurgical Patient Outcomes in Uganda. Tony Fuller, Suzanna Joseph, Sarah Perez, Bruno Valan, Duke Global Health Institute: Think Global, February 27, 2020.

Feeding Methods. Anthony Fuller, Michael Haglund, Shem Opolot, Stephan Beauge, Veronica Brtek, Taylor Horowitz, Suzanna Joseph, Amina Mohamed, Rifah Nanjiba, Oluwaseun Oguntunmibi, Sarah Perez, Priyanka Rao, Jein Seo, Annika Sharma, Jonah Sinclair, Bruno Valan. Duke Global Neurosurgery & Neurology. 2020.

This Team in the News

Patient-Caretaker Education Improves Neurosurgical Outcomes in Uganda

Neurosurgical Care in Uganda (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Distancing Lessons from Faculty Who Travel to Remote Places

Bass Connections Teams Share Research Highlights in a Virtual Showcase

Our Favorite Global Health Stories from 2019

See related teams, Sustainably Improving Neurosurgical Patient Outcomes in Uganda (2020-2021) and Evaluating Interventions Aimed at Improving Neurosurgical Patient Outcomes in Uganda (2018-2019).


Image: Mulago National Referral Hospital, courtesy of Chinemerem Nwosu

Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Team Leaders

  • Anthony Fuller, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery
  • Michael Haglund, Duke Global Health Institute|School of Medicine-Neurosurgery

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Rifah Nanjiba, Neuroscience (AB)
  • Bruno Valan, Biology (BS)
  • Jonah Sinclair, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Annika Sharma, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Jein Seo, Biology (BS)
  • Priyanka Rao, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Sarah Perez, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Oluwaseun Oguntunmibi, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Stephan Beauge, Neuroscience (AB)
  • Amina Mohamed, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Suzanna Joseph, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Taylor Horowitz, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Veronica Brtek, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Shem Opolot, School of Medicine-Neurosurgery

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Michael Muhumuza, Department of Neurosurgery, Mulago Hospital (Uganda)
  • Christine Muhumuza, Department of Public Health, Makerere University (Uganda)
  • Alex Mugalu, Department of Neurosurgery, Mulago Hospital (Uganda)
  • Makerere University
  • Juliet Ssekabunga, Department of Neurosurgery, Mulago Hospital (Uganda)