On Wednesday, November 21, Wes and I, chauffeured by our driver Baraza, delivered the server running version 1 of our OpenHMIS software to AIC Kijabe's satellite clinic called Marira. The server setup went smoothly, and we were able to spend time with the registration clerk and the cashier, letting them try out the new system. As we imagined, upon first use in the actual production environment, we identified some immediate changes needed for the system to be used properly at the clinic.
Wes and I worked for the rest of that week and put in some extra time over the weekend to adjust the software to Marira’s needs. We were back on site the next Monday morning to deliver the updates, and to continue training with the staff. I worked with Esther at the registration desk. She was excited to see the time she could save with the new system, being able to look up existing patient records with their file number, as previously she would enter in all of the patient’s information on a new line in an Excel spreadsheet whether they were new or returning.
Wes worked with Margaret in the cash office to see how processing payments would look with our newly developed cashier module. Margaret was happy with how the OpenHMIS cashier screen let her do her work, and particularly pleased with the system’s ability to easily search for items by name or code. We ran into some concerns, however, with differing bill totals when the same items were entered on the old and new systems, and traced this to inconsistencies in our price lists. It was a bit disappointing to have to leave the clinic again without the system fully up and running, but we were happy to see registration working well, and to see how close we are to a cashier system that the people at Marira will be happy to use.
I’ve talked previously about our efforts to ensure the project’s continuation past my and Wes’s relatively brief terms. We interviewed four candidates for a senior developer position and were concerned in each case about the lack of experience. Recently, Wes and I learned of the potential of a missionary who was previously here for a month investigating the project to return for a substantial term. This may be an answer to prayers for sustainability, and may also allow us to bring on a junior developer to help anchor OpenHMIS in Kenya.
In other news, I continue to enjoy meeting with the people at BAF Kibera, as well as the Griffins and the high school students out by Karen. In fact, we’re planning to host a Christmas party at the Griffins’ home on Boxing Day for the members of the assemblies at Kibera and Tena.
Thanks for following the news! I wish you all the best in this Advent season.
Thank God for a smooth deployment of our software at the clinic. We still have a few issues to iron out, but having the system running at a pilot site is an important step in making our work a meaningful contribution to healthcare in Kenya.
Please continue to pray for the direction and success of the project. Now that the first version is deployed, our team will need to make decisions about next steps, both in adding new features and in planning for the sustainability of the project.
Pray for travelling safety for me, Clemens and Micha. We will be on the coast together over the next week. I will travel back with some other SIM friends on the 20th.