I’m sitting in T.F. Green International Airport in Providence, RI, and I’m awaiting the departure of my flight that will ultimately connect me to my final destination. Brimming with anticipation and eagerly excited I sit with my large backpackers backpack that I used for my 3-week European trek during medical school (see Mom I told you I’d use it more than once!). I’m headed to Haiti.
My heroes growing up were people like Patch Adams and Paul Farmer. Sure, I had my days of dreaming I was Batman or Spiderman. Who wouldn’t want to fling webs out their wrists at will? Strangely, though, I grew up quickly and by around the age of 11 my goals of helping the poor had started to sprout. Dr. Patch Adams inspired me to help those who need it the most when I saw him speak for the first time at a packed Lincoln Auditorium at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign as a freshman undergraduate in 1998. Tracey Kidder’s biography of Dr. Paul Farmer’s initial success in rural Haiti provided me with the motivation I needed to realize that great health care is possible for the underserved, and importantly, that I could be a part of it.
World Wide Village’s Community Health Initiative contacted DrChrono a few months ago with interest expressed by Dr. Joshua White for a mobile Electronic Health Record that could capture his Haitian patients’ health information easily, quickly, and efficiently. He saw that DrChrono had exactly what he needed. A common problem for Dr. White is that there is no way to track what has happened at a patient’s last visit due to the large majority of the patient’s inability to keep their clinic information cards from visit to visit. Many times the physician or nurse is unable to identify what medication the patient has been taking, what diagnosis the patient has, or how long the patient has been suffering from the disease.
So here I am, working as Senior Medical Director for the first iPad-based electronic health record, on my way to Haiti to implement the first ever mobile EHR in a 3rd world country, while also realizing my lifelong dream to provide free health care to the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. I believe that the ground-breaking nature of this endeavor will not absolutely hit me until I see the impact it has in the mobile clinics in Haiti.
I’ve been told that internet access will be hit or miss while in Haiti, but I hope to blog daily if possible about my experience there, so please keep following. I can’t wait!
Dr. Matt Krasucki is the Senior Medical Director for DrChrono. Matt currently practices as a PGY-2 at the Brown University Psychiatry Residency Program in Providence, RI.