Niger Delta Medial Journal

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ANALYSIS OF WAITING TIME IN A GENERAL OUTPATIENT CLINIC OF A TERTARY HOSPITAL IN BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA.

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
ANALYSIS OF WAITING TIME IN A GENERAL OUTPATIENT CLINIC
OF A TERTARY HOSPITAL IN BAYELSA STATE, NIGERIA.
Authors
Chimaobi U. Udechukwu, Daprim Ogaji, Dimie Ogoina, Adedotun D. Adesina
1 School of Public Health, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2 School of Public Health, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-4257-1579
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital,
Okolobiri, Bayelsa State
https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-4257-1579
4 Department of Medical Services, Nigeria, Law School,
Yenagoa Campus, Yenagoa Nigeria
Corresponding Author:
Dr Chimaobi Uzoma Udechukwu
General out-patient Department,
Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri,
Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Email: uzoude@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT
Background: Waiting time impacts quality of care and reflects the responsiveness of the health systems. Analyzing factors affecting waiting time and addressing challenges leading to long waiting time in the outpatient department (OPD) may improve patient perception of and satisfaction with care.

Objectives: The study sought to investigate outpatient characteristics and to determine its association with waiting time among general outpatients in the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri.

Methods: A time flow study was done among 164 randomly selected outpatients. Questionnaires were used to obtain information on socio-demographic and household characteristics, payment mechanisms, patient type (new or returning) and day of visit. Data on time spent were collected using a time-motion log and a time piece. The median effective, idle and total time spent by participants were calculated and
compared using non-parametric test.

The level of significance was set at p< 0.05. Results: Of the 164 participants, majority were females (65.2%), married (60.4%) and Christians
(89.0%). Median total service, idle and waiting time were 36.5minutes (IQR:26.0–46.0minutes), 74.0minutes (IQR:55.3–99.5minutes) and 113.5minutes (IQR:86.0–138.7minute) respectively. Marital status (p -0.012), level of education (p = 0.0.037), socioeconomic status (p = 0.001), day of visit (p =0.042) and payment mechanism (0.001) significantly influenced waiting time in the GOPD