South African Database for Functional Measures

The South African Database for Functional Measures’ (SADFM) primary mission is to contribute to the development of nursing as an empirical science in South Africa. To achieve this, the SADFM’s researched and developed new generation nursing measures on patient outcomes. The measures provide additional standardised data on patient improvement or decline. The nurse observes the patient within a structured format and arrives at a validated score. The availability of such patient-evidence based data, provided routinely by the nursing profession, produces numerous new opportunities to the nursing profession. Importantly, it provides the nursing profession with an ability to empirically quantify the value of the nursing process and care plans.
The SADFM nursing measures are validated with extensive qualitative methods to secure nursing utility and quantitative methods using Rasch analyses to ensure construct validity. As a result the SADFM measures function as routine interval measures allowing the data to be used in statistical analyses.
Essentially the SADFM measures are a family of nursing tools establishing patient improvement (or decline) across the continuum of nursing care. This includes acute care, sub-acute care and non-acute care. 
The SADFM also provides the nursing profession with a web-based software application to enter the patient data and, if needed, the nursing and multi-disciplinary team’s progress reports. This application may communicate patient specific outcomes in real-time to medical schemes, referring doctors, and if required, to family members. Passwords and logins are provided by the nurses.
The SADFM software is also designed to generate real-time performance reports on nursing effectiveness and efficiency based on patient outcomes. This reporting framework has the potential to evolve the nursing science from an input based science to a patient-outcomes based science.
With the validated nursing measurements available, the SADFM’s further objective is to develop a robust statistical model to identify the clinical and financial risk associated with the care of a group of patients that are currently considered to have “unpredictable outcomes”. These usually require complex restorative nursing care in sub-and non-acute specialised nursing facilities. They include broad case-mix groupings such as post- trauma, geriatric care and patients suffering from complex medical conditions. These case-mixes currently constitutes about 30% of patient admissions in acute hospitals and accounts for 45% and more of the health SA Rand spent on hospital care.

​...SADFM now have a battery of tools to measure the functionality of patients/clients/users across the healthcare continuum. These tools are based on the World Health Organization’s guidelines of “organs and systems, activity and participation”...

SADFM invite researchers to participate in any of their on-going research projects. Bona fide researchers and researchers that hope to improve their academic qualifications are welcomed in the SADFM’s pool of researchers.

...The Beta is used in the sub-acute and non-acute care setting and quantifies the nursing resources required for the person to maintain his self-care. The total Beta score reflects the ability of the person to maintain their self-care and the amount of help...


Our goal at SADFM is to provide effective solutions designed to boost your nursing & patient care.

SADFM design solutions tailored specifically to the needs of your business in order to ensure you achieve your dreams of success.

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"The SADFM’s main objective is to harness risk by quantifying unpredictable case-mixes. However, facility and service managers are finding that the data collected and reports generated are becoming increasingly useful as “Quality Management Tools”.

Hennie J Loubser, CEO of SADFM