Workflows and data management
Workflows and data management in our primary health care facilities (OPDs – Out Patient Departments) provides a great challenge within MSF operations. The limitations of the paper based systems we rely on today affects the quality and efficiency of the work carried out by our colleagues on individual, project and organizational level, and ultimately affects the situation of our patients in a negative way. In order to improve these work processes we have to understand the main problems and what causes them. High turnover of international field workers, varied level of education, competence and experience among national field workers, cultural and contextual diversity in combination with constraints such as weak communication infrastructure (unreliable energy sources, poor/no internet connection, lack of support and maintenance, etc.), high workload and other aspects makes it difficult to implement standardized procedures and tools.
These prerequisites and conditions have paved the way for a fragmented OPD process with no good overview (which affects quality, safety and control possibilities, forecasting and planning, operational decision making, etc.), inefficient task delegation, poor work and patient flows, cumbersome double data entry (which is time consuming and a major source of error) and so on. By identifying the most critical and significant problems and needs we intend to narrow down the most relevant and feasible areas of improvement in order to provide results that makes OPD related work processes more efficient, faster and reliable.
Mapping the OPD (Out Patient Department) activities, including work processes and patient flows from triage, consultations and the dispensary was done through intensive interview and workshops sessions resulting in several key insights;
In order to address the different problems in the OPDs in a good way, it is necessary to have a holistic approach that include
In order to assure the quality of the collected data, it is important to create incentives and provide the right tools that make everyday life and work easier for the staff in OPDs.
The “OPD software” is a concept that can be explored in order to harmonize work flows and concretize steps forward with the potential not only to improve medical supply lines and data management but also diagnostics and operational reactivity.
Operational Center Amsterdam, Logistics Department
Marpe Tanaka, Innovation Lead