Support Pilot to Integrate Epi-Info (CDC) into Healthcare System

Activity/project background

Partner: Centro de Atención Permanente (CAP) Cajolá (Cajola Health Center) (Community-based Organization)

The Cajola Health Center in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala attends mostly to pregnant women and performs lab work, medical consultations, and nutrition consultations. High-risk pregnancies usually receive follow-up care in local health posts or through home visits. However, less than 30% of pregnant women attend at least four antenatal visits. Part of the reason women do not attend more antenatal visits is a delay in flagging critical lab results or accessing patient records. Thus, the Health Center would like to pilot an electronic record keeping system in all 15 health clinics to reduce the delays in accessing records, reduce administrative burdens, and improve follow-up care. This system would help them to address the need for accurate and timely diagnostics, provide more efficient patient care, and reduce delays when critical and life-saving actions are required for pregnant women and newborns.

The pilot project intends to test the viability of a free web-based software application developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called Epi-info as an electronic recording keeping system. Since the health service providers are unfamiliar with Epi-info, nor do they have much experience working with computers, there is a technical and development need to support providers.

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) is being requested to provide technical support to promote the Epi-info program’s integration into the workflow of the health services and help evaluate if Epi-Info is a suitable application to meet their health provider needs.

The organization has previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. It is envisioned that there will be collaboration of a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer in this project to better facilitate the VSPP engagement. The in-country Peace Corps Volunteer will co-implement a grant to acquire basic equipment, will follow up with the health workers after trainings, and will assure the utility of the electronic records. The organization understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-train 15 health personnel in the use of Epi-info based on the training guide from the CDC and open-source tutorials
• Co-facilitate the implementation of Epi-info by providing support in trouble shooting technical issues during the 8-week period for 15 health service providers during the VSPP's daily office hours
• Co-author a report assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot and suggest recommendations for phase 2 of the software’s implementation

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 10 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Guatemala time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to WhatsApp, Zoom, Microsoft Meet, and GoogleMeet for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor's degree in any field

Language: Intermediate Spanish

• 5 years of professional experience in electronic information management
• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience with database management and data analytics

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Bachelor's degree in computer science

Language: Advanced Spanish

• Experience working with Epi-Info (CDC)
• Experience working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
• Experience working in Excel or Microsoft Access
• Experience in implementing electronic health record systems on a small scale

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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