Friday, October 3, 2014

Malawi's Client Health Booklets

Readers submit flurry of comments about New York Times story featuring Epic Systems Corp. (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/2/2014)

Here's one that is quoted in the article.
A Florida poster, who claims to be a doctor, said a simple system can be best. "In Malawi, Africa, every patient is required to carry a small notebook ("health passport") into which the doctor or nurse writes a one sentence summary of each visit. Without that document, patients are not seen.

I'm more interested in the notebook claim.

From Design and implementation of a health management information system in Malawi: issues, innovations and results.  (Health Policy and Planning, 2005)
Client health booklets.   Three client health booklets (child, woman and general) were introduced to improve the quality of personal health care. All booklets contain records of the medical history of the individual, assessment of current problems and types of care given. The child health booklet is issued at birth. It contains specific information on immunization, vitamin A and growth monitoring. For a boy, the same booklet can be used for his entire life. The general health booklet can be annexed to the child health booklet for continuous recording of assessment and care. A girl, however, is given a woman's health booklet when she reaches puberty. The woman's health booklet contains specific information on tetanus toxoid injection, family planning services, antenatal check-ups, obstetric history and postnatal services, as well as her general history. These booklets are sold at cost to ensure re-supply of booklets without adding a burden to the already stretched government's financial resources.
Related reading
Malawi:  Improving Health Services Through Stronger Systems.  (U.S. Agency for International Development)

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