Reducing the waiting time for HIV/AIDS patients attending Mengo Hospital HIV clinic, an urban hospital in Uganda
Mengo Hospital is a Non Government faith based private not for Profit hospital and the pioneer of modern medical practices in Uganda and has existed for a hundred and thirteen (113) years thus far. It was established by Dr. Sir Albert Ruskin Cook of the Church Missionary Society in 1897. It has the four main clinical disciplines of medicine; surgery, paediatrics and obstetrics & gynaecology, along with the specialized services in; eye care (ophthalmology), optometry and dentistry with state of the art facilities and services.
§ Changing the numbering and the filing system, from coding basing on the year of registration e.g 120/09 to a more standard ID like 0001, and the filing could be based on ID numerical descending order and the shelves well labeled like(0001 – 0099).
§ Introduction of the appointment book to enable the records staff to compile a list of expected patients and retrieve patients’ files earlier.
- - Improved staff client working relationship due to patients’ satisfaction with the services rendered as the average waiting time reduced from 3 and half hours to 40minutes.
- - Filing and retrieving patients' care file folders was simplified and the indexing by ID numbers was adopted to date.
- - Patients’ general adherence to treatment which includes; Cotrimoxazole, ARVs and Anti TBs improved from 85% to 98%.
- - Patients’ retention rates improved from 88 to 98.8%, and the number of patients honouring their clinic scheduled visits tremendously improved. This eased the tracing of the few who missed their appointment/scheduled visits and the defaultors are contacted earlier.
- - When task shifting was introduced, staff burnout was checked, different cadres acquired new skills which is a motivating factor, clinicians were relieved from workload yet even the patients are impressed with the little time they spend in the clinic.
- - This intervention promoted the willingness of HIV positive patients to enrol for HIV care in this hospital as a result of satisfied existing HIV patients who talk well about the hospital services, hence reducing the HIV/AIDS coverage gap from 42% to 33%.
§ It is a good practise to develop patients’ flow chart as a team, to embrace several inputs and the flow charts create clarity in the clinic both for patients and staff as all the stages a well stipulated.
§ Developing a flow chart in the clinic does not only benefit the patients, but the staff as well as it checks on the staff burnout which promotes their morale.