Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Contents of referral letters by primary healthcare workers to the children emergency unit of a teaching hospital in a cosmopolitan state in Nigeria

S.O. Akodu, E.A. Disu, O.F. Njokanma


Communication between primary healthcare workers and paediatricians is important, if we want patients to receive the right type of care at the right moment. The aim of the study is to assess the contents of information of referral letters issued by primary healthcare workers to the children emergency unit. Descriptive cross-sectional analyses of 142 consecutive referral letters from primary healthcare centres during the study period were evaluated according to specific quality criteria. Twofifths of the letters had no deducible identity of the writers. There-quarter of the referral letters that had the identity of the writers known were written by medical officers. Asignificant proportion of the referral letters lack adequate information. The proportion of Good referral letter practice was 2.11%. This study showed that referral letters written from various primary healthcare centres to the children emergency ward of a teaching hospital is generally of unacceptable quality and the content could be improved upon.

Keywords: healthcare. emergency, referral, quality

AJOL African Journals Online