To identify activities that can be modified in the psychiatry out-patient clinic in order to improve the quality of services rendered. Consulting doctors obtained information on the reason for consultation and time spent by each patient over a one-month period.
Half of all the patients (50.5%) came for a repeat prescription, and 19.3% came for a repeat prescription and counselling. The mean times spent on these two activities were 5.13 (s.d.=2.5) and 7.81 (s.d.=7.51) minutes, respectively. The time spent on these activities by doctors was 47% of the total clinic time.
Clinic services should be reorganised so that doctors can use their skills in more efficient and creative ways.
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