Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital began in 1960 as Kisii Hospital. It later became a Level Five (5) hospital and in 2010, it was given the leeway to become a teaching and referral hospital.
As part of the learning experience of Leading High Performing Healthcare Organisations program, participants are supposed to carry out projects that will improve their working environment. Two projects were undertaken in this hospital by two different teams from the LeHHO program.
The first project was on improving services offered at the pharmacy of the hospital. The outcry in Kisii Teaching and Referral hospital was lack of drugs. Therefore the project sought to install an IT system at the Pharmacy to manage drug dispensation to the patients. This project was undertaken so as to ensure patients are issued with detailed prescriptions, to help in replenishing the medicine stock and to aid in accountability of dispensing drugs.
The first step was to get the support of all staff, explained Hon. Sarah Omache, the County Minister for Health in Kisii County and a participant of LeHHO cohort six. We called all the staff and briefed them on the project as well as helped them understand the importance of the automated system in the pharmacy. Once they all bought into the relevance of the project we began by working on the ambience of the area around the pharmacy. Today it looks much more organized and neater than it was previously. Drugs have been restocked and the automated system is already operational. The difference in the new pharmacy is very distinct. Drugs dispensation is now a transparent process and the pharmacists can easily keep tabs on all medication information.
The success of this project was not without some challenges:
The procurement process was not easy as there were no funds to replenish the medication as well as renovate the pharmacy. It took lobbying and talking to government officials for funds to be released from treasury.
After learning about the project, the staff members had very high expectations. They expected to see some changes in one months time after the project began. Unfortunately, this was not possible and thus led to disappointment among the staff.
Meeting to discuss on how the project would be executed was also a big challenge for the LeHHO cohort six participants. They were all very busy with office and family engagements and the project was an addition list item to their already many responsibilities.
All in all, the challenges were worth our time and effort especially after having attended the LeHHO class. The interactivity level in the class was great and the faculty was amazing. It was good to see that everyone in class was looking forward to positively transforming the various situations in their working environments. It made me see there is still hope in a world with many problems, said Hon. Omache.
On the other hand Dr. Geoffrey Otomu, County Director of Health, Kisii County and a participant of LeHHO helped shed light on the project his team undertook. His group focused on improving the waiting time of patients in the hospital. After doing research, they discovered that there were too many complaints regarding the waiting time of patients. Their baseline research revealed that each patient waited for a maximum of 2 hours 30 minutes.
In order to carry out an extensive research so as to identify the root cause of the problem, cohort six participants gathered records from Out Patient services, X- ray Unit, lab and pharmacy. They also got assistants to record the amount of time each patient had to wait. It was after analyzing the research findings, that they discovered that there was shortage of staff, leading to the prolonged waiting times. To this effect, two radiographers were employed to the X- Ray Unit and this significantly reduced the waiting time of patients.
A critical challenge that the team faced was getting two radiographers to be employed. After much struggle and talks with the government, 360 health workers were employed to serve all the counties, with priority being given to the referral hospitals. This helped to reduce work overload and burnout of the few staff who were previously available.
The other challenge is that the hospital receives a large number of patients. Therefore being a hospital with a bed capacity of 450, they always have to be on their toes to ensure that all patients are treated to the best of the hospitals ability.
LeHHO Program has played a major role in guiding the process of these projects we have undertaken in Kisii Referral and Teaching Hospital. The program made it easy to harmonize all the expectations as well as to deliver them especially at a time we are grappling with the issue of devolution, said Dr. Otomu.