Obstetric referrals from a rural clinic to a community hospital in Honduras

Srirama Josyula, Kathryn K. Taylor, Blair M. Murphy, Dairamise Rodas, Beena D. Kamath-Rayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: referrals between health care facilities are important in low-resource settings, particularly in maternal and child health, to transfer pregnant patients to the appropriate level of obstetric care. Our aim was to characterise the obstetrical referrals from a rural clinic to a community referral hospital in Honduras, to identify barriers in effective transport/referral, and to describe subsequent patient outcomes. Methods: we performed a descriptive retrospective study of patients referred during a 9-month period. We reviewed patient charts to review diagnosis, referral, and treatment times at both sites to understand the continuity of care. Results: ninety-two pregnant patients were referred from the rural clinic to the community hospital. Twenty six pregnant patients (28%) did not have complete and accurate medical records and were excluded from the study. The remaining 66 patients were our study population. Of the 66 patients, 54 (82%) received antenatal care with an average of 5.5±2.4 visits. The most common diagnoses requiring referral were non-reassuring fetal status, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and preterm labour. The time spent in the rural clinic until transfer was 7.35±8.60 hours, and transport times were 4.42±1.07 hours. Of the 66 women transferred, 24 (36%) had different primary diagnoses and 16 (24%) had additional diagnoses after evaluation in the community hospital, whereas the remaining 26 (40%) had diagnoses that remained the same. No system was in place to give feedback to the referring clinic doctors regarding their primary diagnoses. Conclusions: our results demonstrate challenges seen in obstetric transport from a rural clinic to a community hospital in Honduras. Further research is needed for reform of emergency obstetric care management, targeting both healthcare personnel and medical referral infrastructure. The example of Honduras can be taken to motivate change in other resource-limited areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1054-1059
Number of pages6
JournalMidwifery
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Basic emergency obstetrical care
  • Low-resource settings
  • Obstetrical transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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