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International News

Ghana Health Service digitizes patient data

The Ghana Health Service has begun a revolutionary process of digitizing their health data. The initiative was made possible through a partnership with telecommunication company Samsung, as well as humanitarian organization Good Neighbors International.

Currently, the initiative is being pilot tested in three regions. Samsung provided two tablets via Good Neighbors International. Community health workers receive training on data entry into a mobile app to be uploaded into the District Health Information Management System. The electronic data entry procedure is intended to replace their current pen-and-paper method of recording and to improve accuracy of data as well as accessibility. “You know if there are problems with the quality of data and patients cannot also be tracked because the information is on a paper somewhere, then that affects quality of care and planning. How do we continue to work with this kind of system,” said Koku Awoonor, doctor with the Ghana Health Service.

Medical staff can enter data into the tablets offline, and the data will be uploaded when the device reconnects to Internet. The ability to work offline allows data entry to happen everywhere the staff go, regardless of Internet availability. Read the full story.

Zambia launches electronic health information-sharing platform

The government of Zambia has partnered with the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to launch the Zambia Integrated Health Situation Room (ZIHSR), a new tool designed to improve monitoring and user-friendliness of health information across the country. ZIHSR is an electronic platform that makes health statistics more user-friendly by providing clear visual representations of the data. It will also contribute to strategic goals by allowing quick and easy access to the data to aid in providing health information in communities. It will also help identify barriers to access of health services.

Notably, the tool will contribute to the fight against HIV and AIDS, one of the country’s main health priorities. In addition, it will provide point-of-care data on tuberculosis, maternal and child health, and malaria. Read the full story.

New board game trains medical students

Teresa Chan, an emergency department doctor, has teamed up with a group of medical students to create a new experience in medical education. GridlockED Game is a board game that simulates a hospital environment. It was designed to help medical students learn how to balance the needs of multiple patients. According to Chan, the team lead, it can be difficult to train for the real-life scenario outside of a real hospital. The idea of a board game emerged one day when Chan was out for coffee with a friend. Chan immediately began brainstorming and designing the game. The idea progressed to testing and creating a hardcopy.

All players in the game work as a team to manage all the patients in different areas of the hospital and prevent gridlock, which occurs when all hospital beds are full. Players earn points by completing tasks. In addition to earning 500 points, the goals also include surviving your shift and ensuring patient safety.

Chan hopes the game will eventually be incorporated into the course curriculum. All proceeds would go to support research at McMaster University. Read the full story.

IFLA releases Global Vision Report Summary

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has recently released the eagerly anticipated Global Vision Report Summary of library values, current and looking forward. The report unveils data collected from over 31,000 participants in 213 countries or territories on all 7 continents.

Most notably, the report indicates that libraries of all types in all geographic regions share common goals. Libraries are united in their dedication to providing equitable access to information, promoting literacy and learning, valuing the evolution of digitization efforts, and widely advocating for libraries and their services, to name a few. Read the full story.

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