Influence of physical working environment on performance of healthcare workers at mbagathi county referral hospital nairobi, kenya

Author: 
Jared Kebaso Ongaga., Musa Oluoch Ongombe and Eunice Muthoni Mwangi

Introduction: The world health organisation defines a health system as all the organisations, institutions, resources and actions whose primary purpose is to produce health actions. This study focused on the human resources for health pillar of the health system. The WHO 2000 report notes that human resources for health are the most important part of a functional health system. The research was carried out at Mbagathi County Referral Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2016 to determine the relationship between working environment and performance of healthcare workers at Mbagathi County Hospital. The broad objective of this study was to determine the relationship between working environment and performance of healthcare workers at Mbagathi County Hospital. The specific objectives of this study were: to assess the relationship between physical comfort of healthcare workers and their performance, at the Hospital, to assess the relationship between infrastructure component and the performance of healthcare workers at the Hospital and to evaluate the relationship between the work tools and the performance of healthcare workers at Mbagathi County Referral Hospital.
Methods: The study was a cross-sectional study conducted at Mbagathi County Referral Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya where 146 healthcare workers were sampled using stratified simple random sampling. Purposive sampling was used for senior management in key informant interviews. Data was collected using structured questionnaires, administered to doctors, clinical officers and nurses, interview schedules for four senior management and an observation checklist for assessing the physical working environment. Data was analysed using SPSS version 21 to arrive at frequencies, means and standard deviation. Correlation was done using Pearson’s coefficient and data was presented in tables and charts.
Results: The study found out that, physical factors affect performance of healthcare workers as reflected by a p-value of 0.0491. On comfort of work stations, 45 (31 %) were affected considerably, 31 (21 %) were affected moderately and 23 (16 %) slightly in their performance. On infrastructure, water and electricity featured prominently. Availability of electricity affects extensively 31 (21%) of respondents; another 17% (25) felt that it affected them considerably, 32 (22%) moderately while 28 (19%) said that it influenced performance their duties slightly. Availability of water was also a factor influencing performance, 45 (30.7 %) confirmed that it affected their performance extensively, 30 (20.7 %) were affected considerably. On work tools which included equipment and drugs, the current number of equipment like Blood Pressure machines affected performance at the health facility as reported by 32 (21.6%) who said that it affected their performance extensively, 26(17.6%) rated it considerably, 43(29.7%) moderately, 22(14.9%) slightly and 24(16.2%) not at all. A total of 110 (75%) respondents indicated that antibiotics class of drugs affected their performance from moderately to extensively.
Conclusion: In conclusion the performance of healthcare workers at Mbagathi County Referral hospital is affected by the three physical components. The stocking of drugs especially antibiotics emerged as the factor influencing their performance most.

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