Our Work

Some people dream of success. We make it happen.

Our Services

  • We are a research and development organisation driven by the passion to improve healthcare outcomes in South Africa. We anticipate growth and welcome change.
  • We are researchers and shapers — allowing others to act and implement.
  • We seek, first, to understand – by measuring patient needs – before we seek to understand care needs.
  • By improving healthcare outcomes the potential exists to improve the quality of lives and the affordability of healthcare in South Africa
  • Our focus is clear—and limited—and prioritizes ways and means to measure and report on healthcare outcomes.
  • We identify weaknesses in the South African healthcare system and strive to convert them into strengths
  • We are in it for the long haul.
  • We advocate vigorously – but equally we seek responsible debate, actions and input / counselling from external agents.
  • We welcome collaboration and strive to develop partnerships with fellow researchers and developers.
  • We want our research and development to deliver results and we happily share our findings with our partners in order to improve health care outcomes.
  • We demand ethical behaviour from ourselves.
  • We recognize the need for ABSOLUTE data confidentiality of the patients, funder and the service provider. We comply with the POPI Act.

Our Work

  • The South African Database for Functional Medicine (SADFM) is a proudly South African company whose core business is research and development of healthcare outcomes.
  • Guided by the belief that health systems must be based on patient needs to secure optimal healthcare outcomes, Dr Hennie J Loubser started to do research and development in this field in 1996.
  • His work in developing measurement instruments to assess patient needs has served to define the continuum of healthcare in SA.
  • 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”.
  • The psychometric testing of all tools has proven to be highly satisfactory, but on-going research and development is done to improve the soundness of the tools.
  • The patient’s needs and acuity level, at all times, dictate the intensity of service.
  • Services that previously have been managed as silos, are now establishing their links on the care continuum. 
  • SADFM’s goal is an integration of all services from acute to sub-acute to non-acute. A seamless gallery of health care measurements based on patients needs.

Our Policies

  • Observation and listening to our colleagues facilitate our understanding of defining the “problems” in the healthcare industry.
  • By systematic probing into the existing care delivery models we seek to analyse their goals and outcomes.
  • A clear understanding of patient care needs is critical to the success of the development of evidence-based outcome models.
  • Our focus always remains the research and development of patient based measurements.
  • Measurement tools are used to convert text information on patient outcomes into numerical data information.
  • The numerical data and analysis of the national aggregate gives rise to the generation of industry benchmarks (comparing like with like).
  • By analyzing statistical evidence we are able to compare and learn effectiveness and efficiencies of similar services across the continuum of care.
  • Peer review (within similar facilities and services) identifies those health care professionals who have the skills and those that need the skills.
  • Measuring progress and getting feedback is only useful if service providers are willing to act on the results. We are not involved in changing direction – we are only the messenger that renders the evidence.

The SADFM works on numerous projects with various national and international academics and institutions. None of SADFM’s research projects entail any invasive procedures. It is nevertheless the policy to obtain ethical protocols for all research projects.

SADFM is a founder member and active participant in the International Rehabilitation Outcomes Network (IRON), a joint collaboration between SA, Australia, Finland, and USA. These members compare outcomes benchmarks in their countries from time to time with the objective of defining the effectiveness of the different healthcare services.

Our subscribers are health care providers that seek to measure and manage the outcome of care. This includes providers of acute care, sub-acute care or non-acute care.

Our subscribers include healthcare funders that have a keen interest in quantifying patient outcomes and tracking the trends and benchmarks in healthcare outcomes as a whole.

Our license agreements allow subscribers to incorporate the battery of SADFM tools into their care programs, collect data, capture it on the SADFM web based software, generate their own outcomes reports and participate in the SADFM research and development program to improve the healthcare in SA.

Our subscribers are also offered a “facility based” page on the software whereby they are given the option to collect operational specific data related to their business.

Our Accreditation Policy

“The SADFM will only allow a healthcare provider to enter data into the SADFM software if 80% of the healthcare personnel using the measurement tools have been trained, tested and the facility have been accredited on the SADFM system. A facilities accreditation must be renewed annually. Renewal means the personnel must be retested annually to achieve accreditation status.”

Hennie Loubser, CEO