Editor's Note: This post was contributed by Marie Kenerson, Chief Collaboration and Learning Officer of Colleagues in Care, a member of the Social Media Health Network. For information on joining the Network, go here.
Colleagues In Care (CIC) was recently recognized by the Computerworld Laureate Honors Program as finalists in the health category for applying leading edge cloud technologies to solve systemic social problems. CIC is working to transform healthcare delivery in Haiti by using IBM SmartCloud for Social Business and IBM Docs co-editing tools in combination with social learning and systems change principles.
When CIC co-founder Dr. John Kenerson and I recently returned to Haiti for another action-packed and productive week, we were delighted to arrive in Port au Prince to a new airline terminal. As we drove through the city, I could see immediately the progress since my last visit six months ago. The ruins and rubble from the capital building destroyed by the 2010 earthquake have been cleared away leaving a park space behind. Many of the thousands of tents have disappeared though too many still live in deplorable conditions. People fill the streets selling whatever they can. Traffic, always terrible, was temporarily improved due to a country-wide gasoline shortage, the resolution of which brought gridlock back to the rocky dusty roads.
My first time working with groups beyond Port au Prince, we traveled throughout the scenic central plateau of Haiti to train physicians from various hospitals and organizations to use our platform. It was an at times exhilarating and at times painfully slow drive along both paved and dirt roads, along the western coast, inland over mountains and through valleys, sometimes speeding past poor villages and occasional goats, cows and donkeys.
As we were moving ahead with the hypertension manual and program design, it was important that our Haitian and American colleagues were able to fully participate in the co-creation of the final program design and implementation. Although we have more than 150 members registered in the various communities within our platform, it became clear that our members are not familiar enough with the new office productivity capabilities of IBM Docs for online editing, so we embarked on a training tour to rectify that.
We conducted training sessions with physicians from Zamni Lasante -ZL Clinic at Baptiste/Belledere, St. Nicholas Hospital (HSN) in St. Marc, Albert Schweitzer Hospital (HAS) in Deschapelles, the newly opened 200 room University Hospital at Mirebalais (HUM), the University Medical School (HUEH) and St. Luke's Hospital in Porte au Prince. We also met with the Minister of Health in Hinche to discuss our integrated Social Collaboration Solution implementations. We even had a meeting at a Toyota dealership where one of our CIC collaboration groups purchased a new HiLux truck for transporting patients and medications in rural Haiti.
We engaged our partnering colleagues to actively collaborate to finalize and roll out a national Hypertension curriculum and a unique Emergency Medical Obstetrics Program. The CIC Hypertension community has written a complete hypertension manual for the multi-level hypertension certification curriculum. Participants are co-editing and commenting on the content of the curriculum. The team is using bringing evidence-based medical standards and customizing them for the reality facing Haitian practitioners and patients. Dr. Joanel Joisil on using CIC’s Social Collaboration Solution said, "If we share what we know, we can do so much better.”
Though I am not a physician, I saw a team including Dr. Kenerson, a cardiologist, two Mayo Residents, and Haitian physicians as they did their rounds one morning at St Luke's. It was appalling to see first-hand the shocking number of stroke victims admitted to St. Luke's on a normal day. Hypertension statistics in Haiti are horrific.
Our first Haiti Hypertension Program Level I training was kicked off at HuEH University Medical School in PaP in June. This same program will be delivered throughout Haiti's major medical education programs. The next 5 levels will proceed to include certification training to ensure competences to handle hypertension by medical school graduates, residents, fellows and especially, continuing medical education CME for professional development of practitioners on the ground.
We are also in the midst of creating the first-of-its-kind Emergency Medical Obstetrics (EMO) Program. We have surveyed many colleagues throughout Haiti for their input to the design of this program and are ready to incorporate their input and them in the co-development and subsequent implementation of the program. So we also trained various colleagues to actively participate in the creation of the first of its kind EMO Emergency Medical Obstetrics Program.
Having personally trained physicians and others who are ready to participate in designing, evaluating, and implementing the Hypertension and EMO programs and with enough content in our communities, we are now ready to use these tools to optimize the co-creation of other unique programs to impact healthcare delivery in Haiti.
Social Business is about inventing new ways of working together and Haiti has the opportunity to be pioneers in social business for social change. They are not impeded by legacy systems and old ways of working like other industries. We need to continue to help them with typical adoption challenges and training and I am confident a few early adopters will run with this amazing technology and invent all kinds of things together.
If the high demand for me to speak about CIC's Social Collaboration Solution combining social learning, social media and collaboration technologies to address healthcare in Haiti is any indication, Haiti has the opportunity to be on the forefront of social business. We just need to demonstrate how using these sophisticated cloud-based tools makes true innovation in international development possible.
We are innovating revolutionary ways of doing the work of international development; we know the old ways do not work. We are creating a work space where colleagues who care can learn to learn together. This social business solution is about connecting people and democratizing participation to maximize learning and to co-create new ways to address complex problems. In this new world of social media, social business, and cloud-based applications, we have the opportunity to help our Haitian colleagues leapfrog other countries all working to embrace social business.