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Making a difference in Solomon Islands and Fiji – February 2019

In September 2018, program manager Mieke Hutchinson-Kern visited Solomon Islands and Fiji to find out what users of the Guideline Host apps really thought of them and how they were being used in practice. The Guideline Host app was created by Therapeutic Guidelines to help developing countries improve the availability and use of locally developed guidelines.

The response from health practitioners in both countries was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. In Solomon Islands, a survey of attendees at the weekly medical education session at the National Referral Hospital showed that most had already downloaded the app, all said that they found the app useful, and many were already using it every day.

At Lautoka hospital in Fiji not everyone had heard about the app, but a quick demonstration led to an additional 102 downloads of Fiji Guideline Host in the week following the visit!

Mieke also heard some great stories of the app in practice. A paediatrician in Solomon Islands explained that he was contacted by a nurse on an outer island about the best management for a child who had presented to the clinic. Rather than telling the nurse this information over a poor mobile connection, the doctor took screenshots of the relevant pages in the Solomon Islands Standard Treatment Guidelines for Children and sent them to the nurse via SMS. He was then able to implement this treatment for his patient – and subsequently downloaded the app too.

Acting National Referral Hospital (NRH) Medical Superintendent Dr Rooney Jagilly also thanked the Developing Countries Program for their support in developing the app:

“Having access to multiple local treatment guidelines on one’s phones anytime improves the efficiency and effectiveness by which a Solomon Islands health worker can treat their patients and thus improve the quality of care they provide.”

The NRH Paediatrics team using the Guideline Host app in Honiara, Solomon Islands

To find out more about the Guideline Host apps, email [email protected].

To support the work of the Foundation, donate now at www.tgfl.org.au/donate.

 

Capacity Building

In April 2018 Therapeutic Guidelines hosted a visiting doctor from Argentina to participate in a two-week guideline development training course. Dr Mariscal was the eighth recipient of the TGL ‘Visiting Editor Fellowship’ since 2008. The training aims to equip visiting health professionals from low and middle-income countries with the skills needed to develop guidelines within their own countries to suit their local health context.

Dr Mariscal plans to incorporate training around the development and use of guidelines into the medical degree at the University of Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Guideline Host App

In late April 2018 the Developing Countries Program released a new app, aimed at improving the availability and use of locally developed clinical treatment guidelines in the Solomon Islands and Fiji.

‘Solomon Islands Guideline Host’ allows Solomon Islander health workers to access the Solomon Islands Antibiotic Guidelines, Solomon Islands Paediatric Guidelines and the local Essential Medicines List via an offline accessible app for smart phones and tablet computers. This electronic access allows the Ministry of Health to disseminate guidelines without having to rely on printed paper versions, which are expensive, susceptible to the humid conditions of the Pacific and easy to lose.

‘Fiji Guideline Host’ allows Fijian health workers to access the Fiji Cardiovascular Guidelines and Fiji Essential Medicines List via a quick and easy to use app.

The Developing Countries Program hopes to extend the offer of hosting local guidelines via apps to more countries in the future, improving access to guidelines and enhancing patient care.