The Digital Nomad: Blogging from the Health Information Systems Unconference

Carl Leitner's badgePacked and ready to collaborate
In my suitcase there are two iHRIS Appliances, a host of books donated by O'Reilly, and several large printouts of the form maps for iHRIS Manage and iHRIS Qualify. I’m a digital nomad, I say to myself, looking at my backpack full of electronic knick-knacks that will help smooth over any technical hiccups we may encounter during the Training Workshop/Unconference for Interoperable Applications for Health Information Systems. Held in Accra, Ghana, most participants are from the Economic Community of West African States, with several iHRIS developers from Botswana and Lesotho as well. Read more »

Global Leaders Speak Out for Health Workforce Partnerships

Uganda health studentsHealth education in the global context
At the Accordia Foundation’s Health Workforce Partnership Symposium, held September 14 in Washington, DC, US Ambassador Dr. Eric Goosby noted three key points about health education.

1) The US Government (PEPFAR) is committed to building health capacity in developing countries; 2) Over the long term, country ownership and sustainable national capacity is critical to this effort; and 3) PEPFAR will be working with the Global Fund to merge planning processes, initially in 10 countries, and by implication this includes health workforce education. Read more »

From Rural Virginia to Remote Areas of Laos: Keeping Health Workers in the Communities That Need Them

Maurice MiddlebergOn a recent Monday I spotted an article in the Washington Post about a young doctor who accepted a position in rural Virginia. She and many other health workers are struggling to balance their professional commitment—“I really wanted to help people who wouldn’t otherwise get help,” Dr. Sarah Carricaburu told the reporter—with the drawbacks of living far from an urban center. She’s not sure if she’ll stay.

I was struck by the similar context of this article and the stories I hear every week from developing countries around the world. The factors driving doctors and nurses away from rural posts in the US are largely the same as those in developing countries—social and professional isolation, access to the Internet, housing, cultural options, schooling for children, lack of opportunity for continuing education.

We often assume the problem is one of salary. But it’s more complicated than that. Read more »

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