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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 adocument we keep for each patient. By the time a clinic team arrives inGramothe (generally around 8:30 am), there is a line of people waiting to seethe doctors and nurses. The first step for these patients is to fill thebenches in the waiting room. Then one by one they step up to the window. 

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

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

sorting dossiers to be filed
Typically a Haitianworking in the clinic will come to retrieve the prepared dossiers several timesthroughout the morning. They call the names on the dossiers when it’s time totake new patients. Once a patient hears her name called, she enters the clinicwhere her weight, blood pressure, and temperature are recorded on the dossier beforeshe sits on a bench waiting to see one of the providers. The providers thenkeep the dossiers for all the patients they see. At the end of the day thedossiers are collected and we file them back into their folders the nextmorning.

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