JoAnne E. Natale, Ellen Hamburger, Mussie Aman, Woldu Asmerom, Amal Faisal, Fitsum Gebremichael, Solomon Haile, Meroni Maekele, Mahmud Mohammed, Dawit Tesfaye, Belai Ghiorghis, & Jill G. Joseph.
Journal of Primary Care & Community Health, 2010
Objective: To reduce direct parental referral of low acuity ill pediatric patients to the outpatient facilities of a nation’s only pediatric referral hospital. Patients and Methods: Longitudinal monitoring of outpatient visits at Orotta Children’s Hospital (OCH) and primary health facilities (PHFs) following implementation of an intervention designed in response to information provided by parents and health-care providers. Parental surveys were undertaken before and after exposure to the intervention to assess effects on knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Results: We analyzed 5,639 visits between baseline and follow-up, documenting a decline in parental referral among OCH outpatients from 95% to approximately 80%. Educational intervention increased the proportion of parents intending to use PHF for future outpatient care from 28% to 82%. Staff of the PHFs responded enthusiastically to this intervention program and requested further activities. Conclusions: Self-referral to tertiary care hospital was reduced following a modest program of parental education designed and implemented by residents in training.
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