Notes from the classroom: Thoughts on my upcoming ghdLAB trip and the role of electronic medical records in rural clinics

Dateline: mid-March 2012
Location: MIT Sloan
by David Hilliard

Advertising sign of Chebaiywa Health Centre

In less than a week, I leave to work on a project in a rural health center in Kenya!!  My teammate, Pipe, and I are extremely excited to touch ground next week and put our research to work.  We are visiting three host sites over the span of two weeks starting in Nairobi.

In the capital of Kenya, we plan to assess the impact of a past ghdLAB project withCarolina for Kibera.  I recommend reading about some of the great success stories on CFK’s website.  The Tabitha Medical Clinic that they support recorded over 40,000 visits in 2009.  It is really amazing what they do!

After a couple days in Nairobi, we are flying to Eldoret for our major project.  The nearby Chebaiywa Health Center is considering implementation of an electronic medical records system.  Chebaiywa is a small clinic that serves about 20 patients daily.  The health center hopes to reduce their costs and increase efficiencies with our help.  Pipe and I are looking forward to meeting the health staff and learning about their current processes.

Through our research and conversations with experienced GHD-folk, we learned that new technologies can sometimes hurt rather than help.  We want to make sure that an electronic medical records system is a step in the right direction and that we leave the health center with a new helpful tool for their toolkit.  Luckily, there are other clinics in the area that have implemented such a system.  We hope to learn from their experience to guide Chebaiywa in their process improvements.

Also, during our time in Chebaiywa, we plan to meet with Living Room International to assess the impact of another past ghdLAB project.   It has been so inspiring to learn how organizations like LRI are making a difference in Kenya.

Through ghdLAB and action learning, we now have a chance to help too!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *