An exploratory study of the referral pathway of patients discharged from a tertiary hospital to home-based care in the Western Cape
The purpose of the study will be to explore the discharge referral pathway for patients that have been discharged from hospital to home in the Western Cape Province. A mix of quantitative and qualitative research, using a descriptive design will be undertaken. Quantitatively, following the patient paper trail from Tertiary Hospital to grassroots level. Qualitatively, to identify whether the referral pathway was user friendly. Records of discharged patients from the Tertiary Hospital will be used as the study population. Patient information will be accessed from patient files at the hospital. Interviews will be conducted with the relevant discharge liaison officers at the Tertiary Hospital, and Primary Health Care level. Relevant staff members within the non–governmental –organisations (NGOs), will also be interviewed in order to determine their perception of the discharge referral pathway. The findings of the study will be used to inform policy guidelines. Challenges encountered by staff members in referring patients for continuum of care, and the perception of consumers will also be described and documented.