By - September 5, 2015

In January 2015, Béré Adventist Hospital entered uncharted territory in Chadian healthcare. At 9pm on the night of January 24, the first patient was registered using the hospital’s new electronic medical record software, the first system of it’s kind to be utilized in any Chadian hospital. Eight months later, in August, the hospital reached another important milestone with the registration of the 10,000th patient using the new EMR. The use of a computer system in Béré is truly is a remarkable feat given the hospital’s remote location in a poverty-stricken country lacking even the most basic necessities like public water systems, paved roads, and electricity.

It was an intense journey to reach this milestone. In November 2014, the majority of hospital staff had never seen a computer in their lives. Twice-weekly, hour-long training sessions soon commenced, and the staff gradually became more comfortable with basic computing tasks like using a mouse and typing on a keyboard. Within only two months, the staff moved from not knowing how to turn on a computer to making their way around an electronic medical record and testing it in their daily workflow. January 24 was the “go-live” date when all hospital staff officially began using the new EMR system to aid them in their work. Since then, 100% of hospital employees have embraced the system. 

Among many things, the EMR system is used for:

  • Patient registration
  • Gathering demographic data
  • Prescribing ultrasounds and lab testing
  • Ordering surgeries
  • Tracking surgical schedules
  • Ordering medications
  • Tracking all income
  • Receipt printing
  • Tracking stock
  • Automatically generating medication and consumable purchase orders to prevent stock from running out
  • Creating surgical reports, ultrasound reports, daily progress notes, admission notes, and discharge summaries
  • Managing staff roster
  • Tracking floor usage of consumables
  • Tracking inpatient list 

In addition to these uses, the new EMR provides a new level of security on campus. With the help of the EMR’s built-in activity log and multiple security cameras, hospital administrators have been able to uncover several instances of blatant theft by employees. Also, the new system has made it possible to find employees abusing the stock of free medicines, which are strictly reserved for emergencies and social cases. As a result, the hospital’s 2015 income has skyrocketed. 

Reaching the 10,000-patients-registered mark is an amazing achievement. Currently, all of the computer and network equipment is continuing to run smoothly. There is no question that this is a miracle given the harsh environmental conditions such as extreme heat, intense sun, high winds, copious amounts of dust, and a very humid and wet rainy season. But these 10,000 patients mean more than the 8-month success of a computer program. Those are 10,000 people who, thanks to the caring missionaries at Béré Adventist Hospital, have had a chance to receive quality healthcare in a country where that is rare. Those are 10,000 more people who have seen the hands and feet of Jesus working in their community. And most of all, those are 10,000 people whose lives have been touched in a positive way.  

All the glory goes to God. Please continue to pray for the patients, staff, and missionaries of Béré Adventist Hospital.

Portions of Olen Netteburg’s blog post entitled “Moving On Up” were paraphrased and used in this article. Please visit the Netteburg’s blog to read more about Béré Adventist Hospital