Health eVillages Partners with Maine-Based Harrington Family Health Center to Improve Quality of Care
Health eVillages mobile devices with digital medical references provide real-time access to clinical decision-making tools and patient education materials
HARRINGTON, MAINE – (September 24, 2015) – The Harrington Family Health Center, which serves some of Maine’s most rural and poor areas, is the latest recipient of mobile devices containing trusted medical resources from Health eVillages, a program founded by global healthcare activist Donato Tramuto and Physicians Interactive (PI), in partnership with the not-for-profit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization.
Health eVillages partners with healthcare organizations in some of the most remote areas of the world, including Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and India. The recently launched Health eVillages program at the Harrington Family Health Center has received five Health eVillages mobile devices, embedded with medical reference materials and tools, and in-person training that enables providers and pharmacy technicians to help diagnose and treat the Washington County health center’s nearly 4,000 patients.
Harrington CEO Lee Umphrey said his medical staff is delighted with the new digitized references available through the mobile devices. “Since I first learned about Health eVillages, I have been impressed with the work Donato is doing to bring the most up-to-date, digitized medical information to some of the most poverty-stricken regions of the world,” Umphrey said. “When Donato called to say that Health eVillages wanted to help us here in Washington County, I jumped at the opportunity to accelerate our efforts in improving the quality of healthcare we deliver to our patients.”
Each Health eVillages tablet is loaded with a broad range of digitized medical references; the Omnio app; clinical decision-support tools including symptom checkers, drug references, a medical calculator, and a pill identifier; and digitized medical textbooks. Health eVillages staff members traveled to Washington County to personally deliver the tablets and provide training at the family health center.
Tramuto created Health eVillages in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, leaving millions homeless and without access to immediate medical care. As the founder and CEO of Physicians Interactive, the leading provider of insight-driven digital engagement solutions for healthcare professionals and consumers, Tramuto believed that digital technology could make a significant difference in the way healthcare providers diagnose and treat patients in the most vulnerable areas of the world.
At the Harrington Family Health Center, medical staff members, including a triage nurse and a pharmacy clerk, are already using the technology to diagnose and treat patients. “The reaction to the new technology has been overwhelmingly positive,” Umphrey said. “We have one physician assistant who just graduated from medical school and she absolutely loves it; she has it with her night and day. She uses it with patients throughout the day and studies the references at night.”
Umphrey also lauded the up-to-date medical references available through the devices for diagnosis and treatment, as well as the patient education resources. “It’s so much easier for our clinicians to be able to share a written explanation of the condition with the patient, or to show a photo describing the diagnosis,” Umphrey said. “It empowers the patient to follow through on the recommended course of treatment, because — through the Health eVillages devices — they better understand what the condition is, and how that condition can be contained or alleviated.”
The family health center treats patients from the town of Harrington, and also draws families from approximately 20 surrounding communities. Umphrey said Washington County is Maine’s poorest region, with its residents leading the state of Maine in chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The county’s death rate is also the highest in the state, according to Umphrey.
The family health center also serves a large population of migrant farm workers who travel to Washington County to take on seasonal work in the blueberry fields. Umphrey said the Harrington Family Health Center accepts everyone seeking healthcare, regardless of his or her ability to pay, and is governed by a community board.
“Lee and his team of highly trained, dedicated and compassionate healthcare professionals do incredible work, especially given the challenging conditions of this rural area and the diverse needs of its underserved patient population,” Tramuto said. “Lee and I explored together the difference Health eVillages could make for these residents. It’s heartwarming to see, firsthand, how we are improving the delivery of high-quality healthcare in my home state, and especially gratifying to be able to help families who need it the most here in Maine.”
For more information about Health eVillages, visit: http://www.healthevillages.org
About Health eVillages
Health eVillages, a program of the not-for-profit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Physicians Interactive, provides state-of-the-art mobile health technology including medical reference and clinical decision-support resources to medical professionals in the most challenging clinical environments around the world. More information can be found at http://www.healthevillages.org/.
About Physicians Interactive
Headquartered in Reading, MA, Physicians Interactive (PI) aspires to use the power of worldwide networks of healthcare professionals and life sciences companies together in ways that will change the practice and business of medicine for the better. PI’s value proposition is to offer the life science industry a low-cost, virtual, multi-channel marketing approach that can be used to supplement currently promoted products, as well as non-promoted and orphaned products, that deliver benefits to physicians and patients. A key focus is providing services that fit into physicians’ and healthcare professionals’ daily workflow at the point-of-care when they make diagnosis, treatment and prescribing decisions. More information can be found at www.PhysiciansInteractive.com.