The nice thing about free and open source software is its inclusiveness. We received an email from one of our OJTs who was assigned to understand how CHITS works in Pasay City. There are several interesting things in his report. First, the healthcare domain is a specialist one. Even after being deployed to the CHITS sites for two weeks, it is difficult for non-health personnel (eg, developers) to grasp the whole health careflow. Second, using frameworks (CHITS uses GAME) makes it easy for developers to join the careflow using something that they can comprehend — source code. This is only possible because CHITS is open source. Third, collaboration between health and IT is crucial to the success of any eHealth application. There should be enough attention placed on teamwork and communications to increase chances of success.
Sir Noel and I attended the CHITS training sessions being conducted by the instructors, Sir Rosendo Pantino and Ma’am Josie Tresvalles. On the fhe first day, upon arrival, we observed the terminals where the software was installed and found out that only 1 terminal, the server, was being used due to a network problem. This allowed me to do some network troubleshooting which was finally identified as a faulty wifi-adapter.
The demo-training topic for that day were: the basic steps of patient registration, family folders, Philhealth modules. Most of these were already familiar since I read the CUTE Manual already (CHITS User Training Experience). This is my 2nd time to see CHITS in action, this time with detailed explanation per modules. I am finally being able to grasp the importance of having a need for computerized systems in health centers, and the convenience that CHITS can provide the health sector. As we went through step by step with the modules, I’ve noticed both major and minor design and logical issues which I took note of, including some of the wish-lists of the participants/end users. Some of them were asking me to debug on the spot which I tried to do so, even if it was my first time to touch the code. In the end, I decided to ask for Sir Randy’s help. The CHITS/GAME framework was well written and very easy to understand, but I will need some time before I can finally get around the code. After the discussions, the instructors asked the participants to input data based on the process/steps that have been discussed. This allowed them to put to practice what they have learned immediately.
The next day all the terminals were already repaired by their tech nurse and was now fully functional. The day’s topic was all about the maternal care modules. Again for this day I took notes of the problems we encountered in the system. Sir Randy taught me how to connect to a remote computer through SSH so I can edit files through my terminal. He(Randy) mentioned to me about some ethical issues in which I have little idea about and I might need to ask you doc sometime.
The third day, we again went on with the discussion, this time the Family Planning, Hypertensive and TB Therapy Modules. For the day, I learned different ways of how to install CHITS through Sir Rotchie Paneda(Pasay Nurse) and Sir Randy. I have also succesfully installed it on my laptop.
To sum up my report, I would say everyone was doing their jobs well, the instructors and the healthcare workers. I enjoyed the three days of training. Aside from the good food(pasay nurses cook very well ) , seeing the enthusiasm of the health workers to learn something new is priceless. I am also learning a lot of new things, and the joy of meeting new people feels good. I’ve had a desire to contribute in the development of CHITS, specifically in the remodeling of the systems overall look base on the different feedbacks I have gathered.
Earl Justin Garcia
(posted with permission)