Perceptions of doctors and nurses of International Hospital Kampala (IHK) – Out Patient Department and Emergency Unit (OPD&EU), regarding introduction and use of the South African Triage Scale (SATS)
Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction: International Hospital Kampala has been having a challenge with how to standardize the triaging and sorting of patients. There was no triage tool to help prioritize which patients to attend to first. Very sick patients who needed urgent attention were often missed. Methods: This study using qualitative methods sought to introduce the SATS in the IHK OPD/EU and get the perceptions of doctors and nurses who used it for 3-6 months on its worthiness and sustainability. Specific questions were on challenges faced prior to its introduction, strengths and weaknesses, the impact it had on the practice of staff and their recommendations on the continued use of the tool. In-depth interviews were conducted with 4 doctors and 12 nurses. Results and discussion: The SATS tool was found to be necessary, applicable and recommended for use in the IHK setting. It improved the sorting of patients, nurse-patient and nurse-doctor communication. The IHK OPD/EU staff attained new skills with the nurses getting more involved in the care of patients. It is possibly useful in phone triaging and planning of hospital staffing. Conclusion: Adequate nurse staffing, computer application for automated coding of patients and regular training would foster consistent use and sustainability. Setting up a hospital committee to review the signs and symptoms would rubber stamp its sustainability. The SATS is valuable in the IHK setting because it has improved on the overall efficiency of triaging and care with significantly more strengths realized than weaknesses.
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