Tag Archives: Mike McKay

Global PHAT 2010 Videos Online!

All the videos and presentations from Global PHAT 2010 have now been posted in the online resources at http://www.globalphat.com. This includes presentations on ICT Failures, Effective EMR, and mHealth Solutions for Community Health Workers by:

  • Hamish Fraser, Director of Informatics & Telemedicine, Partners in Health
  • Mike McKay, Former Country Director, Baobab Health Malawi
  • Bobby Jefferson, Senior Health Informatics Advisor, Futures Group
  • Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder, President, CEO, Dimagi
  • Josh Nesbit, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Frontline SMS
  • Donald Yansen, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder, ClickDiagnostics
  • Alvin Marcelo, Director, National Telehealth Center, University of the Philippines, Manila
  • Jessica Haberer, Harvard Initiative for Global Health

In addition, PHAT has partnered with GHDonline.org, an online platform of communities developed by the Global Health Delivery Project, to provide a forum for continuing the dialogue about the topics discussed at the event. I have just posted the content from the session titled Effective EMR: Moving Beyond the Technology, along with discussion questions in the GHDonline.org Health IT Community. You can access the discussion here: What non-technological factors make EMR effective?. If you are not already a member of GHDonline.org, I encourage you to join! It is a fantastic resource for engaging others with similar interests across the globe.


A Fresh Idea from Baobab Health: The Proactive Help Desk

I had the opportunity to meet with Mike McKay, the former country director for Baobab Health (www.baobabhealth.org) in Malawi. Mike built a team of Malawian software developers from the ground up to design a touch-screen patient registration system used in HIV clinics. The system is so intuitive that a janitor, who overlooked as a team of nurses was being trained to use the system, took over during the nurses’ lunch break and has since become a full-time patient registration clerk. He has now personally registered several hundred thousand patient visits. Take a look at this 1-min video to see the system in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf49zRxhKhc.

One of the processes that Baobab uses to support sites after implementing the Baobab system is the “Proactive Help Desk,” in which the help desk calls each site at least once per week to ask if they have any questions, are any systems not functioning, or any problems. They do this in addition to being available for normal help desk requests.

This incredibly simple idea of the Proactive Help Desk is one of the most obvious ways I’ve heard of to create a useful feedback loop between system administrators and users, yet I’ve never heard of it before! By giving their users the opportunity to provide weekly feedback on the Baobab system, on the workflows, and on their particular context, they dramatically improve their ability to support users and to iterate the system and related processes to addresses immediate user needs.

Harvard Global Public Health & Technology Conf – May 1, 2010

Moving Beyond the Technology


When: Saturday, May 1, 2010
Time: 8am – 7pm
Where: Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cost: $50 Standard Registration ($20 Full-Time Student)
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) have the potential to transform health delivery throughout the world, whether through the use of electronic health records to manage HIV/AIDS care in rural Uganda or mobile devices providing community health workers with decision support  in the field. Too often, however, this potential is not realized because undue emphasis is placed on the health technology in isolation, not in context.

Global PHAT 2010: Moving Beyond the Technology puts the health technology in context, focusing on human-centered, practical implementation strategies in developing country settings. This one day event brings together health technology implementers to examine the critical factors that make cutting edge technologies successful, including capacity building, partnership development, monitoring and evaluation, workflow and information flow optimization, and cultural contexts.


Confirmed Panel Sessions

  • Health Information Technology (HIT) Failures
  • Effective Electronic Medical Records (EMR) – Moving Beyond the Technology
  • Survey of Selected HIV Information Systems
  • Role of Technology in Disaster Response
  • Mobile Health (mHealth) for Community Health Worker (CHW) Programs: Implementation Insights

Confirmed Speakers – Just Announced!

  • Dr. Hamish Fraser, Director of Informatics and Telemedicine, Partners in Health (PIH)
  • Mike McKay, Former Country Director, Baobab Health, Malawi
  • Jonathan Jackson, Co-Founder and CEO, Dimagi
  • Josh Nesbit, Co-Founder and Executive Director, FrontlineSMS
  • Dr. Alvin B. Marcelo, Director of the University of Philippines National Telehealth Center
  • Prabhjot Dhadialla, Program Director for Health Systems, Development, and Research, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Dr. Leo Anthony Celi, Founder, Moca