Determinants of a functional referral system in Kisumu County, Kenya. Patients’ perspective.
Nango, Wilbert Otieno
MetadataShow full item record
Most referral health facilities are faced with challenges ranging from congestion of patients at these health facilities, limited resources both human and material to deal with the voluminous clients, slow rate of service delivery due to high numbers as a result of the by-passing tendencies. Self-referrals normally results in compromised quality of medical care provided to the patients. The problems mentioned above affects most of the high level health facilities which are traditionally meant to be referral health facilities. The study conducted in the month of August 2017 therefore aimed to find out the determinants of a functional referral system in two level 5 health facilities; Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) and Kisumu County Referral Hospital (KCH). The objectives of the study were to; examine the extent to which the primary health care centres characteristics, patients’ characteristics, receiving health facility characteristics and proximity to a health facility influence a functional referral system. A cross sectional study was conducted using a qualitative approach to data collection. Three hundred and thirty eight patients were systemically selected to participate in the study. Data was collected using an individual questionnaire through one on one interview between the dates 14th- 22nd August 2017. The collected data were coded and analyzed using the SPSS 25.0 Computer program. The qualitative data collected were analyzed quantitatively using the descriptive statistics and linear regression models. The results indicates that there was a positive and significant influence of the primary health facility characteristics (r=.474**, p<0.001) and receiving facility characteristics (r=.475**, p<0.001) on a functional referral system at the two high level facilities. There was also a negative but significant influence of proximity to health facility (r=- 0.137**, p=0.017) on a functional referral system at the two level 5 facilities. On patients characteristics, a significant interaction was found on gender χ2 (1) = 4.64, p= 0.031, education level χ2(2) = 20.37, p<0.001 and Marital status χ2(2) = 8.78, p= 0.012 with a functional referral system. Conclusion – Factors influencing functional referral system are primary health centre characteristics, patients’ characteristics, proximity to a health facility and referral health facility characteristics. It is therefore recommended that the County government of Kisumu should improve the supply of drugs and quality of service delivery at the primary health facilities to attract more patients seeking primary care services, specialists movement especially to the lower level health facilities need to be reinforced by the Ministry of Health to boost the citizen’s confidence in quality of care at these facilities, more sensitization strategies need to be put in place to educate both the patients and health care providers on the recommended referral practices that should be upheld to improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.