Eldoret hospital goes hi-tech in treatment of Aids
Posted Wednesday, June 20 2012 at 17:54
A partnership between Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Indiana University School of Medicine is boosting monitoring and treatment of diabetes and Aids patients.
Known as the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), the programme uses the Google open source mobile operating system (Android) to develop new data collection tools for home-based counselling and testing.
Android-based G1 phones have GPS integrated into the handsets and can record locations in just seconds.
The phones’s camera is used to scan patient identification bar codes, eliminating the need to enter the numbers manually and thus reducing time spent on collecting data and data entry errors.
Ms Janet Cheptanui, a counselor in Nandi North District, said that through the new mode she expected better data collection and monitoring.
“We always monitor patients on a weekly basis and this has helped greatly as patients are able to be monitored closely,” she said.
Counsellors use the phones to upload data automatically from the field through the GPS network, while a new mobile data collection tool allows AMPATH to transmit data collected in the field directly into their medical records system.
Counsellors are required to key in a 10-digit identifier for each patient, wait for about two minutes to get the patient’s location, and at the end of each day return to the clinic to upload their information to a central database.
AMPATH programme manager Sylvester Kimaiyo said that the programme had about 147,000 patients who directly benefit from free ARVs.
“AMPATH operates from the government’s health facilities, mainly in eight districts within the Rift Valley, 11 districts in Western Province, and one district in Nyanza,” he said.
The data tracking is expected to improve health outcome and reduce programme costs.
AMPATH’s home-based volunteers have been capturing and recording patient information for the past two years. The project has already been rolled out in Nandi North District and Turbo division in Eldoret West District where it targets 200,000 people.
Under the project, counsellors have been moving from house to house testing people for diabetes and HIV/Aids. Those who test positive are referred to health facilities for treatment.
The initiative also comes at a time when the referral hospital is rolling out information communication technology. The hospital director, Dr John Kibosia, said that the accounts department had been automated.
Dr Kibosia said that the hospital had already trained doctors and clinical officers on ICT use. He said that ICT had helped the hospital to increase its money collection to more than Sh60 million.