2022: A year in review
Maintaining a New Year’s resolution is nothing short of a mountain to climb when you aren’t seeing the results you want. Here at Frontida Records, we are committed to designing solutions for marginalized patients and doctors and continuously see the difference our technology makes in their lives.
After months of customizing and beta-testing, we launched our electronic health records (EHR) system for Floating Doctors (FD) in April 2022. Floating Doctors is a health NGO dedicated to serving the communities of the Ngäbe-Buglé across Panama’s Bocas del Toro Archipelago.
For years, founder and CEO Benjamin LaBrot, M.D., and his team had been struggling with paper patient charts, which hindered their ability to decide on optimal treatment options and analyze patient trends.
Our intuitive and culturally-adapted forms ensure physicians document health information relevant to these communities, strengthening the accuracy of diagnoses and treatment. In the FD dieting form, for instance, we tracked the quantity of Chocolisto each patient consumes because it is an everyday drink found in Panama and a vital indicator of sugar intake.
“Frontida was willing to look at the unique needs of these kinds of settings and develop an EMR which would actually perform better than our paper records,” said LaBrot.
Consequently, we have driven down documentation time by 73%, ensuring more patients receive the quality care they need. Furthermore, our data visualization tools enable swift analyses and informed decision-making in clinics and beyond.
“What electronic data like this for regions like this really means is, suddenly, all our indigenous patients now have a voice when health policy is being made. Their voice is going to be counted” LaBrot said, reflecting on the global implications of electronic documentation. Today, we continue to document the care of their over 10,000 patients across 30 communities.
In July of this year, we conducted a pilot needs assessment of our triage and EHR systems for the medical outreach program of the Children of War Foundation (COWF) in Amman, Jordan. COWF works to deliver access to global health and education for communities affected by poverty, war, climate change, discrimination, isolation, and barriers to migration.
Hundreds of children from nearby refugee camps required surgeries. However, COWF’s current triage methods, which involved WhatsApp and paper records, could not properly match patients with surgeons and document their treatment.
After integrating patient histories into our system, we caught numerous errors while preventing unnecessary and potentially harmful surgical procedures. Across their seven hospitals in Amman, we recorded over 600 waitlisted refugee children on our electronic health record (EHR) system within a week and managed at least 50 surgeries.
Our software organizes data entries in a clean and streamlined fashion, guaranteeing search ability. Additionally, our platform’s user-friendly interface allows medical staff to document care on their iPads with ease.
“This is really great. The system is flexible to use for anyone to use,” said Ra'ad Naser Alkayid, the COWF Jordan Project Manager.
During the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, Frontida has and continues to fortify refugee relief efforts. In June, we developed a medical inventory system for the Polish Medical Mission, an organization dedicated to dispatching medical aid to countries in need. Together, we managed the delivery of over 8,000 medical supplies from Poland to hospitals in Ukraine.
We deployed a mobile EHR system for Angelia Clinic in August. Angelia’s physicians visited shelters with their mobile health vans because conditions proved too dangerous to transport patients to their facility in Kyiv, Ukraine. We helped these teams accurately track the treatment of patients in areas devastated by conflict on our platform.
Our programmers are also developing tools to help 8 additional organizations manage medical and pharmaceutical supply deliveries from Romania and provide effective mental health services for Ukrainian refugees.
Frontida will continue our mission of expanding positive health outcomes in low-resource settings while reducing physician burnout in 2023. With that, we are kicking off the new year with a trip to The Gambia, Uganda, and Rwanda in January.
Most health centers in these countries document vital information about patients’ medical history on paper. This method of recordkeeping often produces unclear data or results in data loss. The prevalence of these gaps in data increases the risks of misdiagnosis and ineffective or even harmful treatment.
These mounting challenges in the management of health information take a toll on the medical staff. Medical centers across these countries are already experiencing a shortage of skilled health professionals. As the prevalence of physician burnout is high, greater clinical errors ensue.
Furthermore, information on paper records is rarely collected in national databases that track diseases and disorders affecting the Gambian, Ugandan, and Rwandan populations. Sickle cell anemia remains among the leading causes of death before the age of 75 in West Africa. The prevalence of sickle cell anemia in The Gambia is unknown, leaving millions of Gambians at risk of fatal infections linked to the blood disorder. Uganda continues to be plagued by communicable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. In Rwanda, malnutrition stunts the growth of nearly 1 in 4 children under the age of 5.
To eliminate these disparities, Frontida will work to digitize medical records across each country through our UN partnership. In January 2023, our team will first travel to The Gambia to conduct a needs assessment of three medical centers, including community clinics and the country’s only teaching hospital. Following this investigation, we will work with researchers at Uganda’s Muni University and local physicians from three additional health facilities. We will conclude this month-long trip in Rwanda, where we will discuss national healthcare challenges with the Rwandan Minister of Health.
After designing EHR systems for these facilities, we hope to deploy them in Spring 2023 and later expand to the rest of the Gambian, Ugandan, and Rwandan healthcare systems.
As we take on these incredible projects and touch many lives, we need your help to inspire excellent health in the communities of The Gambia, Uganda, and Rwanda! Start the year with goodwill, and consider making a resolution with us as a recurring donor.
Your incredible generosity supports the technology that bridges healthcare disparities for hundreds of thousands of patients in low-resource communities—while empowering doctors to make data-driven decisions under improved conditions to expand positive health outcomes. No act of kindness is too small.