On 23 December, Richard Fitton (UK) responded to the discussion on Adherence by health workers to maternal and child health guidelines in Nigeria, saying "Logically... patients and families should have access to these training tools too?"
Indeed, there are at least two important aspects here:
First, patients and families need access to guidance on how to deal with common illneses in the home, and when to seek medical help. I suspect this is what Richard refers to, and I would like to invite contributions from HIFA members about how the information needs of families and children are being addressed in different settings. What is the role of print media and mobile health, for example?
Second, patients and families - and civil society in general - should have access to the guidelines used by health workers so that they can not only learn from them, but also have the information they need to hold health workers accountable. Guidelines can be used for shared decision-making. For example, we have learned on HIFA about PACK (Practical Approach to Care Kit), which provides a unified approach across all health cadres - is there potential to integrate shared decision making tools into PACK, or is this already under way?
Looking forward to more discussion on meeting the information needs of Citizens, families and children. HIFA has a working group dedicated to these issues and we are keen to take them forward as part of our work with WHO to undertake a global consultation 'To identify best practices, opportunities and challenges from relevant health related stakeholders, towards pursuing universal access to reliable healthcare information'.
Best wishes, Neil
Dr Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator
Healthcare Information For All
Global Healthcare Information Network
Working in Official Relations with the World Health Organization
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