Silver linings over Haiti

July 2, 2012

Clouds of hope and help are at work improving healthcare delivery in Haiti, thanks to a joint effort between IBM and Colleagues In Care (CIC) Global Health Network.

CIC is using IBM cloud-based social analytics and collaboration services to provide healthcare volunteers with immediate access to vital information to address the healthcare needs of Haitian citizens. So far, the effort has brought together about 200 doctors, nurses and business professionals virtually from around the globe.

The first contact site for CIC is 120-bed St. Damien’s Hospital in Port-au-Prince. Using the IBM SmartCloud, CIC volunteers and those on the front lines taking care of both children and adult patients are armed with an online medical knowledge system that includes treatment options, clinical pathways and best practices specific to the situation in Haiti, which was devastated by a magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010.

For example, doctors in Port-au-Prince now have instant access to information. Previously, a healthcare worker typically had no access to a specialist to consult about a specific medical condition. Via the IBM SmartCloud, they can immediately determine how to best care for the patient directly in front of them, at the same time collaborating with colleagues to determine more population-based strategies of effective care.

Medical workers can then develop, post and share their experiences, providing critical background to incoming medical workers. The volunteers are also participating in approximately 70 online communities on topics such as “mother and baby,” “hypertension,” “heart failure” and “eye care” to track initiatives from start to finish.

The medical knowledge system has been so effective that CIC is looking to replicate it in other under-served regions and countries facing low and limited resources.

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