Views and Experiences of Doctors, Nurses And Exiting Patients on Overcrowding at the Accident and Emergency Centre, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi.

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Overcrowding in hospital emergency departments (EDs) has become a major focus for public concern in recent years with consequential effects on patients care and general health outcomes. This study assessed the extent of effects of overcrowding on health providers as well as clients seeking healthcare at the Accident and Emergency unit at the KomfoAnokye Teaching Hospital (A&E, KATH), Kumasi. The cross-sectional study involved health clients (above 17 years) who were not in severe pain and had been admitted to the A & E unit at the KATH. A total of 200 clients as well as 150 health staffs were recruited for the study. Data were collected through interviewing using semi-structured questionnaires. Data were coded and analyzed with STATA 11. Majority of health respondents in this study believed the accident and emergency unit was overcrowded. Overcrowding at the ED causes stress (95.2%), irritation (81.9%) and tiredness (90.5%) among health respondents and leads to medical errors. Inadequate medical equipment, bed space, theatre and main ward space as well as inappropriate referrals contributed to overcrowding at the A&E department. On the other hand, most patients in this study did not consider the A&E to be overcrowded. Expanding of infrastructure to minimize overcrowding should go along with improving the district hospital facilities to handle emergency cases. This will help minimize referrals to the accident and emergency unit and reduce overcrowding at the unit.  
A Thesis Submitted to the Department Of Community Health, College Of Health Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of MPH Degree in Health Services Planning and Management.