Table 3

Summary of most useful indicators of oxygen access

DomainIndicatorPotential sources
  • Proportion of patients with hypoxaemia receiving oxygen therapy.

  • Proportion of acutely unwell patients screened using pulse oximetry.

Additional considerations:
- presence of oxygen clinical guideline, including routine pulse oximetry
- rational use (oxygen provision with vs without indication)
- flow rates and duration of therapy (useful for quantification of oxygen need and quality improvement)
- equity between populations (hospital department, age, sex, ethnic background, socioeconomic status)
- training and skills of healthcare workers
Clinical audit, routine health information system, HCW survey
  • Proportion of wards with functional oxygen source and delivery devices.

  • Proportion of wards with functional pulse oximeter and probes.

Additional considerations:
- pulse oximeter and oxygen source presence and function (including oxygen purity testing for oxygen concentrators)
- delivery devices (cannula, mask, CPAP, flowmeter assembly, etc)
- maintenance personnel (local capacity and access to expert help)
- equipment inventory and preventive maintenance schedules
- spare parts: access and cost
Physical inspection+device testing, technician survey
  • Daily cost of oxygen therapy to patients

  • Annual expenditure on oxygen equipment and maintenance/repairs.

Additional considerations:
- equity and non-payment action (hospital department, age, poor)
- whole of life cycle (capital and operating costs): oxygen source; refill cost; spare parts and maintenance; power; consumables.
Patient accounts and general finance ledger, administrator survey
  • CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure ; HCWs, healthcare workers.