Sunday, November 29, 2020

Giving Tuesday: Time, Money, and Space Savings

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a day fostering on-line giving to non-profits. The CDCA sets a specific project goal for that day. Though Nicaragua has suffered with two hurricanes in two weeks, the goal we set awhile back for this year was $5,400 to set up and then maintain for one year an electronic patient record-keeping system for the Nueva Vida Clinic. We are posting on social media about Giving Tuesday and we are writing blogs explaining why we chose to focus on this project and how you can help. So far:  
  1. blog about the two hurricanes hitting Nicaragua in two weeks, climate change and why going green is important;
  2. a blog about how typing data electronically makes for less mistakes and more time for patient care;
  3. a blog about HOW we are able to do this now and how appreciative we are;
  4. a blog on Future Friday and saving paper;
  5. and today's blog about how much space, money and time we will save. 
We have seen well over 30,000 patients in our clinic …getting closer to 40,000. Files in the medical part of the clinic, dental clinic, eye glasses, and therapy areas take up a great deal of space. We have file cabinets everywhere: 
  • in the lobby space,
  • in a storage room,
  • in the therapy room,
  • in the warehouse,
  • and in the vision correction room. 
Space we could use for other purposes, like:
  • more social distancing inside the clinic,
  • storing medical supplies and equipment,
  • And more room for play in the therapy room, 

We jam files into limited space and as a result many patient charts get misfiled.  For years this has been an on-going problem…we spend so much time trying to find misfiled charts. For this Giving Tuesday, one donor gave a gift in honor of his friend, who has actually spent her visits in Nicaragua helping us refile all the files into correct numerical order. 

Bucknell Brigade students and professors have spent hours upon hours helping us find files on patients who have not been seen in the clinic in the previous five years. They pull those files and archive them to make room for newer files, and we then mark them on the computer as no longer active.   North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian volunteers have also done their fair share of standing at the file cabinets and ordering one file after another.

Filing has taken huge amounts of time, space, and money in purchasing file folders and hanging file folders. For many years we could not buy them here and so delegations would bring them down in their luggage instead of using the baggage weight for medicines. Plus we have spent money on fixing file cabinets as they break under the weight of so much paper.

With the digital on-line service we will slowly but surely remove the old files and have more space. We will not have to search and search for missing files at the start of every shift. We will not have to collate all the daily charts into the proper file and then find space for them at the end of every shift.

Time, space and money from the on-line service will save the staff of the clinic:
  • time best spent with patients and developing good public health;
  • space best used to maintain more social distancing;
  • and money best spent on medications and supplies instead of file folders and cabinet maintenance. 
Please give this Tuesday. In the long run, the clinic will save money. 

Together we can solve problems. 


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