Health and Design at Service of a Refugee Camp in Iraq
Authors: Lea Camacho, Eliana Penedos-Santiago, Elga Ferreira
Abstract: This project emerges from the need to counteract a scenario of risk and unpredictability in the care provided to patients in illness situations, which stems from a poor or non-existent health record system (HRS). The direct contact in the year of 2017 with an emergency medical Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), working in context of humanitarian crises, demonstrated the precarious and yet scarce presence of such a system. The lack of practicality, easy understanding and access to other health partners proved to compromise the quality of care.Since a functional HRS (via paper or electronic means) is a core component for the management, delivery, and safety of quality in healthcare, the identification of a simple and yet effective system, capable of maintaining a history of care provided, is imperative. This need increases exponentially when the focus is on a humanitarian crisis context, in which populations have been forced into displacement and the health system is disrupted, of which the Internal Displaced Persons in Iraq are an example (commonly referred as refugees). The constraint of resources and the clash of different cultures and experiences between professionals, can hinder or even compromise the provision and quality of care, as well as the experience and perception of patients themselves regarding the services provided.With this study I propose the mapping of a HRS within an emergency medical field hospital, in a refugee camp in Iraq, to ensure the quality of emergency management and delivery of care, in a scenario of instability and political uncertainty. This system, which functions as a systematically collected database, presents specific health characteristics of a given patient when receiving differentiated care essential to guarantee high standards of care.A service design methodology to test the hypothesis will be used through a service blueprint development, capable of mapping the activities, processes and systems involved in a patient's health experience. Design research methods such as service safari and user shadowing with informal ethnographic interviews will be implemented, as well as workshops with national and international health professionals involved with NGO work.Thus, it is expected to re-design a robust monitoring and patient track, with faster access of the patient’s history to health professionals, a better prevention of medication errors and duplication, and a greater transparency in the management and delivery of care. The easy implementation of the system will also allow an easier communication of patient’s needs and care, between different health stakeholders.
Keywords: humanitarian crises, humanitarian health sector, health information system, service blueprint
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