MSF Referral Systems


Referral systems in MSF are often subject to challenges along the entire continuum; from arrival of the patient to our facility, to decision making to refer out of the facility and to follow up in an external medical structure. Challenges have been mentioned in streamlining practices, the number and diversity of actors and capacities, and the limited medical infrastructures found in project locations. Problems related with discontinuity of patient care and very disordered information flows and decision making, have a direct impact in the quality of care MSF provides and in the perception of its work by both staff and the community at large. The regional operations health advisor has requested the SIU to perform a deep analysis to fully understand the challenges in the system, how those challenges fit together and overlap and to then identify the main pressure points to which we can apply solutions to improve the process for all those involved.


The objective of this case is to gain an in-depth understand of the referral system in two locations of the OCBA cell 5 portfolio countries. To accomplish this, the case manager and an external designer will visit project locations in Ethiopia and Sudan to collect data through interviews with key stakeholders, documentation review and travelling the route the patient must take.

Upcoming. Once the analysis is complete and areas of opportunities are identified we will implement the most relevant and promising ideas and solutions together with the field teams.



MSF OCBA Cell 5 Nairobi
MSF Sweden Innovation Unit


MSF Sweden Innovation Unit


Lindsay Bryson, Medical Innovation Officer, SIU