In June, 2015, KidsCareEverywhere (KCE) traveled to Colombia, South America to conduct training on using PEMSoft mobile and web-based software with pediatricians across the country. With a team of 12 enthusiastic volunteers and staff members, KCE trained over 220 physicians and medical professionals during seven training sessions at four hospitals in three different Colombian cities. The four different hospitals included: Hospital Susana López de Valencia (Popayán, Colombia), Hospital Universitario del Valle and Fundación Clínica Infantil Club Noel (Cali, Colombia) and Fundación Cardioinfantil (Bogotá, Colombia). All hospitals are engaged extensively in care of impoverished children in Colombia and qualify as non-commercial sites, and therefore eligible for complimentary software gifted through KCE from EBSCO.
Of 227 physicians registered for the four KCE trainings, 93 responded (41%) to a follow up survey designed to assess utilization and physician perceptions of impact on actual practice. Sixty percent of the cohort was female and the age range distribution was uniform (21 to >55 years). There were multiple training levels in the student groups: attending physicians (44%), residents (28%), and medical students (16%). The emergency department was the most common work site (25%). One month after the KCE training, 88% of physicians reported using PEMSoft at least 1 day during the week. 67% preferred the mobile app over the web-version. 89% reported no barriers to use. All respondents said the software was easy to use and 96% felt that it improved clinical care. No physician regarded the English-language feature as a barrier. The respondents further indicated that the software resulted in significant reduction in their use of textbooks, pocket reference cards and hospital guidelines to answer clinical questions.
The KCE Board of Directors considered the survey results to be extremely significant. First of all, the response rate of over 40% from a foreign physician group not primarily English-speaking is itself outstanding and appears to reflect a highly unusual level of commitment and engagement—user characteristics that predict a successful long term project. Second, the survey offered the first objective information about utilization and efficacy of PEMSoft after the KCE team has left the country. Surveys collected at the time of the training are useful and easier to conduct, but follow up at three months is probably more reflective of real, ongoing utilization and impact. Third, the physicians’ perceptions of how PEMSoft improved the fundamental quality of patient care provided significant testimony to the value of the software and the KCE trainings.
The entire KCE organization has been inspired by these new South American partnerships and by the passion that Colombian physicians demonstrated for integrating PEMSoft into their hospital’s infrastructure and into their day-to-day care of pediatric patients. The results of the KCE follow-up survey indicate a high impact from PEMSoft in the practice environments of the Colombian physicians. Based upon the wonderful personal experience of the KCE team in Colombia, and upon the strong evidence for impact, the Board is planning to continue this partnership in 2016. KCE is currently planning a return trip to Colombia in June, 2016.