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Evaluation of patient transfers from peripheral hospitals to a District General Hospital

Authors:

C. M. Abeysekara ,

District General Hospital, Matara, LK
About C. M.
Deputy Director
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N. R. Hewageegana,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About N. R.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine
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S. D. Dharmarathtne

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. D.
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Despite Sri Lanka’s remarkable success of achieving higher health status, there are many areas in the system which need immediate and priority attention to further improve the provision of healthcare. Patient transfer procedure is one such area.

 

Objectives: This study was undertaken to evaluate the patient transfers from peripheral hospitals to District General Hospital (DGH), Matara and to make recommendations to improve the process.

 

Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out using three study instruments. A questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 427 transferred patients and medical officers who attended them at the Primary Care Unit (PCU). Two checklists were used to assess the completeness of the components of the transfer process. Data were triangulated and analyzed regarding proportions (quantitative data) and associations (using chi-square test).

 

Results: Involvement of the patient/guardian to the decision-making process was inadequate as 62.5% of the patients/guardians were not aware of the reason for the transfer. Pre-transfer communication was not done in 90.9% occasions. Majority of transferred patients (74.5%) were accompanied by staff attendants irrespective of the nature of the transfer. There were many lapses in the documentation of the transfer form.

 

Discussion: Guidelines for inter-hospital patient transfers need to be revised. The transfer form used at present need to be redesigned.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/jrcs.v24i1.68
How to Cite: Abeysekara, C.M., Hewageegana, N.R. and Dharmarathtne, S.D., 2019. Evaluation of patient transfers from peripheral hospitals to a District General Hospital. Journal of the Ruhunu Clinical Society, 24(1), pp.52–59. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jrcs.v24i1.68
Published on 13 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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