Volume 28, Issue 161 (6-2018)                   J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2018, 28(161): 75-87 | Back to browse issues page

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Safizadehe Chamokhtari K, Abedi G, Marvi A. Analysis of the Patient Referral System in Urban Family Physician Program, from Stakeholders` Perspective Using SWOT Approach: A Qualitative Study. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci. 2018; 28 (161) :75-87
URL: http://jmums.mazums.ac.ir/article-1-9742-en.html
Abstract:   (2601 Views)
Background and purpose: Leveling of health services and resources is implemented in Iran to promote the health situation and preventing unnecessary visits and waste of human and financial resources. The relationship between these levels is built through referral system. The aim of this study was to analyze the patient referral system at all levels of the health system using Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) approach.
Materials and methods: This qualitative study was done by semi-structured and in-depth interviews in 2016. The sample size consisted of 20 people including administrative officers, family physicians, executive managers, and individuals working in insurance sector and 10 people receiving insurance services who were selected purposefully. Data was analyzed using content and structural analysis.
Results: The strengths included: reducing the costs, providing equitable access to health services, promoting the health level, and providing services in an evolutionary level. The weaknesses included not informing the people, physician issues, poor monitoring and evaluation, management issues, payment mechanisms, electronic health records, insurance organizations, and inadequate facilities and equipment of health centers. Opportunities included: the importance of health and health care for the leadership and the parliament, job creation, active participation of the private sector, the high level of literacy of the target group (people), and the cooperation of insurance organizations. The threats included lack of coordination and alignment between policy makers and planners, the therapeutic focus of health system, lack of attention of people to health care, and the influences of private sector.
Conclusion: The appropriate implementation of referral system promotes the health of society and increases the healthcare burden. But today, it does not follow its own rules which is caused by different factors. Therefore, health authorities should address these by appropriate planning and timely actions.
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