Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 21-January-2011, Vol 124 No 1328
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Transfers from rural hospitals in New Zealand
Trevor Lloyd, Katharina Blattner, Garry Nixon
To canvass the experience of a group of New Zealand rural hospital doctors of transfers from their hospitals.
Ten rural hospital doctors were required to write an assignment on patient transfer as part of their assessment for a postgraduate diploma. The information from the completed assignments was grouped into themes for analysis.
The responses from the ten doctors could be grouped into six themes: resources at the rural hospital, clinical conditions, mode of transfer, communication, issues during transfer, and health system issues.
The experience of this group of doctors is consistent with the available published information. Transfer of patients is an inevitable part of rural hospital practice. The outcome for patients could be improved through better resourcing of rural hospitals and education for staff, improved communication with transport services and with base hospital specialists, and involvement in the development of regionalised transport protocols.
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