Assessment of the patient flow at the infectious diseases institute out-patient clinic, Kampala, Uganda
Muganga, Muganzi A.
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In order to cope with the increasing patient load, a study was performed to identify bottlenecks in patient flow at the Infectious Diseases out-patient clinic in Kampala, Uganda on 10 January 2005. On a standardised questionnaire we recorded for all patients: the time they presented at reception, waiting times for different services and in- and out times for nursing, counselling and doctor visits. 250 patients visited the clinic the study day: 36 (20 per cent) were asymptomatic; 133 (75 per cent) symptomatic but not critically ill and 8 (4.5 per cent) severely ill; 63 (37.5 per cent) were on antiretroviral treatment. The median time spend at the clinic was 157 minutes (range 22-426). The median time from reception to the triage/vital-signs measuring unit was 34 minutes (range 3-92), from triage nurse to doctor 51 minutes (range 1-205), from doctor to pharmacy 24 minutes (range 5-292). The median waiting time at the pharmacy was 30 minutes (range 10-175). Based on these results, organisational changes were proposed. A similar methodology could be used to evaluate and compare health service delivery systems for persons with HIV infection in Africa in order to identify the most efficient models of care.