Every month, Nyaya Health receives a ton of clinical data from the Bayalpata hospital but they have little time to sort through it all – this is where Data Team comes in! We analyze raw data on everything the hospital is up to, from patient outcomes to enrollment in HIV programs to prenatal care. If a trend appears that interests or surprises us, we dig a little deeper to see what could be the underlying cause and if the hospital benefit from this new information. I looked at inpatient and outpatient data and saw that in the breakdown of outpatient cases, abdominal and gastrointestinal consistently accounted for the majority of outpatient visits every month.
For example, in the Nepali month Bhadra 2070 (July 2013) the breakdown looks like this:
Again, these are all outpatient cases which means that the patient visited the clinic, got checked out, and then went back home, they never stayed in the hospital.
So, what is causing so many abdominal/gastrointestinal cases in Achham? I broke the data down even further and saw what was driving the bulk of abdominal and gastrointestinal cases – gastritis.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged use of antibiotics. It can easily be tested for and treated and the bulk of cases found are acute but chronic gastritis is a contributory cause of more serious conditions such as stomach cancer.
The incidence of gastritis over a 20 month period is graphed here:
There is huge variability in the number of gastritis each month which is unexplained. Are there fewer cases of gastritis in Sawan 2069 (June 2012) simply because fewer people are coming to the clinic that month? Are there less abdominal/gastrointestinal cases as a whole? Or is there an external factor that is hidden in the data?
I compared these three factors side by side and saw that while there are some parallels between gastritis cases, total outpatient cases, and total abdominal/gastrointestinal cases, it is not enough to explain the variability of gastritis incidence.
Moving forward, I hope to look at other factors that could be causing such high rates of gastritis such as the prescription of antibiotics.