You can visit the Yotkom Medical Centre website at www.yotkom.com.
Many of our customers, partners and clients that we interact with on a daily basis are aware that Best Practice Software develops, maintains and provides training for a range of Practice Management Solutions and associated services – but many are unaware of our Community Partnership program, which ties in as part of our corporate citizenship activities.
Our Community Partnership program is designed to enable charitable community benefit through our vision of communities connected through medicine.
Today, we shine a light on a particularly special partnership.
Best Practice Software, in co-operation with Dr Andrew Wright, have been involved in a partnership with the Yotkom Medical Centre in Uganda for over 5 years.
Situated in the regional village of Kitgum, Yotkom means ‘health’ in Acholi, a regional language of northern Uganda and South Sudan. First opening its doors in October of 2005, Yotkom Medical Centre was formed as the result of an initiative headed by Australian doctor, Andrew Wright.
“The district we serve has a population of approximately 300,000. People travel long distances to our facility because it has a reputation for excellence.”
The clinic’s primary goal is to improve access to healthcare for locals and provide excellence in primary healthcare to such a resource-poor setting. The centre also focuses on building relationships and self-reliance within the community.
The Yotkom Medical Centre provides a range of services to the community, including an outpatient and emergency department that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by medical officers with comprehensive training. Approximately 15000 patients per year attend as outpatients. Surgical and orthopaedic procedures are undertaken in the clinic’s two operating theatres. Fifty inpatient beds are available for patients that require care in complicated cases. The centre operates a dental clinic and undertakes dental education and outreach to local schools and businesses.
Of special mention is the centre’s Maternal and Child Health facility. This opened in 2019 and serves to undertake antenatal care and education, as well as the assisting of natural births and the provision of safe caesarean section deliveries where required. Dr Wright points out that the clinic is making a significant impact on reducing child and maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. They are a designated childhood vaccination centre and offer vaccinations for Hepatitis B and rabies. All patient fees are subsidised by donations received in Australia.
The clinic also proudly operates workshops for the community and other health workers, and they retain a compassion fund which is accessed to subsidise life-changing surgery for the clinic’s most disadvantaged patients.
As part of Best Practice Software’s corporate citizenship involvement, the Yotkom Medical Centre is provided with substantially discounted Bp Premier licences to use throughout the centre. The provision of software helps staff to improve record keeping and assists with the teaching of their junior clinicians. It provides access to the MIMS database and invaluable patient education materials.
The community in Kitgum is very poor and experiences a high rate of unemployment and subsistence living. Subsequently in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these conditions of extreme poverty. Infectious diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV remain common. Yotkom’s ongoing partnership with Best Practice Software through corporate citizenship activities, and the implementation of Bp Premier, helps clinic staff to collate patient information in an orderly fashion and improves the process of following up with patients’ post treatment, which is a significant undertaking, as many medical facilities in Uganda do not maintain any kind of patient record databases.
To provide ongoing support to the Yotkom Medical Centre, doctors, nurses and midwives regularly travel to the facility from Australia to share their skills and expertise. Information technology professionals also contribute their time to manage the centre’s technology platforms and software. Part of the service they provide is to teach the Ugandan clinicians skills in software operation, record keeping and online medical referencing.
Historically, Dr Andrew Wright travels to the clinic and lend his expertise in rural general practice and tropical medicine alongside the clinicians and support staff at Yotkom for six weeks at a time, three times each year. However, during COVID travel restrictions, he has been lending support in weekly ward rounds via video calling platforms. He remains diligent and is constantly seeking to improve opportunities for training, education and supervision for the Ugandan staff at Yotkom.
When speaking about the project work being undertaken at Yotkom in Uganda, and when advocating for the centre here in Australia, Dr Wright often shares how the strategic partnership with Best Practice Software’s corporate citizenship involvement has assisted the clinic with sustainability.
“The medical centre in Kitgum has an Australian flag flying at the entrance, and the entire community is aware of how Australian donors and organisations such as Best Practice Software are making a difference towards health issues in that part of the world.”
Having Best Practice Software work so well in Uganda is a showcase, demonstrating to other medical institutions how the software is beneficial, and might spur them to consider utilising the same platform in their organisations.
While we here at Best Practice Software believe we provide all our customers and clients with a way to improve their day to day Practice function, it is especially rewarding to be able to assist incredibly worthy causes such as this as part of our corporate citizenship involvement. We congratulate Dr Andrew Wright and all the staff working hard to make the Yotkom Medical Centre a success, and we look forward to being part of this incredible endeavour for years to come.
If you are involved with a cause you believe may qualify for Best Practice Software’s Community Partnership program, you can get in touch with us here.