FileMaker app helps health workers track HIV patients in Haiti

Last month, this blog reported on a few ways health professionals are using FileMaker to improve their operations, including the case of a Mississippi dentist whose app is being used in Haiti. Now, another FileMaker app is helping volunteer health workers track HIV patients in that country. This latest database has been developed at the University of Iowa to overcome the inadequacy of existing health records.

Iowa senior IT support consultant Stephen Yagla began working on the app after traveling to Haiti with associate professor of emergency medicine Chris Buresh. There, they observed that HIV patients were tracked only by Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and paper records. Back home, Yagla began working with his colleagues Steve Bowers and Ted Fitzgerald and named the resulting app TEBOW after combining their names.

TEBOW is designed to be extremely simple so that it can be taught to health care workers with limited IT knowledge. The system runs primarily on iPhones, but is compatible with Windows and laptops as well. Patients have their photographs taken and their name and phone number recorded, and are assigned a unique ID number. With the information in hand, health workers can not only track specific patients but also identify trends to know, for instance, how much medicine to bring on each trip.

"It's amazing how powerful it is and how much it helps," said Buresh to The Daily Iowan. "It's critical that we can prove to ourselves and everyone else that we're not wasting our time and money. It has definitely changed the way I look at what we do and changed the way I look at people in IT."

Wisconsin-based MC Services can assist companies across all industries with FileMaker database development and training, helping them to streamline their decision-making and business operations.