Last month, VecnaCares partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to launch an electronic medical record at Kakuma Refugee Camp. This may be the first ever EMR to go live in a refugee camp.
Out of the six facilities, two are full-fledged hospitals with inpatient facilities, including the General Hospital with a capacity of 170 beds and the Main Hospital with a capacity of 55 beds. The Main Hospital currently runs a maternity and pediatrics ward with inpatient activities and outpatient services. In the General Hospital, multiple inpatient services are available, including a male ward, a female ward, maternity services, a stabilization center, and a pediatric ward in addition to outpatient activities. The remaining four facilities offer solely outpatient services.
Medical records in the Kakuma refugee camp have traditionally been paper-based, including medical records for chronic disease patients and patient-retained health records for primary care patients with physician notes and medication lists. Weekly tally sheets were entered manually into a spreadsheet, which was uploaded into a generic database monthly.
There are a number of challenges with a paper-based system that relied on manual data entry for digital records. Consistent care for chronic diseases can be difficult without accurate documentation of treatment history, and is made laborious when records are difficult to find and there are often duplicate or incomplete records for patients. Due to the presence of multiple facilities in the Kakuma camp, patients may be able to receive the same drug twice in one day by visiting different clinics. The paper-based system also makes it difficult to effectively manage the drugs and other pharmaceutical commodities from the main warehouse, pharmacy and the dispensing units, to track consumption and stock availability.
To address these challenges, VecnaCares is partnering with IRC to collect and integrate patient-level data via the CliniPAK, an electronic health record system. The CliniPAK is a digital platform to collect, host, and present clinical data for IRC’s FHWs (Field Health Worker) and program administrators.
VecnaCares’ software package includes a secure web application with software for collecting clinical source data, patient flow management, laboratory orders and pharmaceutical inventory and dispensation. To simplify reporting, the workflow modules are built around UNHCR standards.
The system operates on tablets, interfacing over a local area network (LAN) with applications hosted on the CliniPAK.
By implementing the CliniPAK system in Kakuma, FHWs and administration receive support for diagnosis and clinical decisions, pharmacy management, better data quality for population-level health tracking and improved tracking of individual patients to assess outcomes, especially for non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The EMR also provides, in real-time, longitudinal patient-level data for clinical decision-making. Providing clinical decision support for diagnosis and treatment via the EMR helps to standardize patient care and deliver a higher level of health services. By better tracking dispensing and consumption, pharmacy management becomes more efficient, thereby reducing camp operating costs.
Overall, this system will provide more accurate insights into population health for better decisions at the programmatic level. In addition, the CliniPAK system ensures that every person is provided the best care possible - because every person is counted; because every person counts.