Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Dossier Room

I don't know why I haven't posted about this before, but I think it's high time I told you about the work Arold and I do during clinic weeks. I still teach all my classes during clinic, but Arold's main responsibility is to focus on the clinic when it's open. 

Arold & Nalouse working
When the clinic is open we work in what’s called the “dossier room.” A dossier is simply a document we keep for each patient. By the time a clinic team arrives in Gramothe (generally around 8:30 am), there is a line of people waiting to see the doctors and nurses. The first step for these patients is to fill the benches in the waiting room. Then one by one they step up to the window. 

a patient dossier
On the other side of the window is the dossier room, complete with all the patient files. The first question asked is if the patient has come before. If they have been to the clinic before, they should have a card with their name and dossier number. If they have the card, we check it and then pull their file and place it on the stack of dossiers to be seen that day. If they have lost their card, which is the case a good 85%  of the time, we look them up on our computer file. Then we make them a new card and tell them not to lose it.

one of the 15+ boxes of dossiers
If a patient has not been to the clinic before, we create a new dossier for them. We ask their name, date of birth, sex, and where they live. One person types the information into the computer and the other writes it on the dossier. Once we are finished making or pulling the dossier for a patient they are directed to return outside and wait for their name to be called.

sorting dossiers to be filed
Typically a Haitian working in the clinic will come to retrieve the prepared dossiers several times throughout the morning. They call the names on the dossiers when it’s time to take new patients. Once a patient hears her name called, she enters the clinic where her weight, blood pressure, and temperature are recorded on the dossier before she sits on a bench waiting to see one of the providers. The providers then keep the dossiers for all the patients they see. At the end of the day the dossiers are collected and we file them back into their folders the next morning.

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