Following up last week’s post, we thought we would give a few more use cases in which we hope to use cell phones in the field.
In particular, text messages will be sent to CHWs to notify or remind them about meetings and trainings. This will improve the ability to coordinate such activities, provide more advanced notification by sending a notification as soon as information is known, but also make it possible to plan meetings without much lead time when the situation demands it. Reminders can be sent to all CHWs with little effort making the communication with CHWs much less burdensome for the coordinators.
Missed appointments is something that providers struggle with all over the world. In places like Kilifi, where patients are remote and often don’t have access to phones, these issues are even greater. Providers may not know if the missed appointment was because a patient’s condition has deteriorated to a point where they are no longer to travel or if they just forgot. Now when a patient misses an appointment, the health center can simply send a text message to the CHW nearest the patient, and the CHW will go check on the individual and then report back. If emergency medical assistance is needed, the CHW can then request transportation be dispatched.
CHWs visit patients in the community, and when a problem is identified, the CHW can set up an appointment for a patient via text message. Without an appointment, a patient will have to wait in line at the clinic, so significantly more time must be budgeted for the medical visit. The clinic will also notify the CHW when a patient arrives for their appointment, so the CHW knows that no follow up is required to reschedule an appointment.