Operation Village Health
An award-winning extension of Partners HealthCare.
Since 2001, Operation Village Health has enabled Harvard-affiliated physicians in the Partners HealthCare system to support Cambodian health workers caring for patients at a health center in the remote village of Rovieng. In 2003, the program expanded to include a referral hospital in the town of Banlung, the provincial capital of the Ratanakiri province. At each of these sites, point-of-care clinical data (medical history, physical exam, labs and digital images) are gathered by Cambodian health workers caring for patients locally. Data from select cases are emailed to volunteer physicians in Boston and in Phnom Penh for review and, within hours, recommendations are returned. This allows isolated clinicians to not only learn from some of the best physicians in the world, but to deliver improved care to these underserved regions in Cambodia, with greater confidence.
Additional resources in the village of Rovieng include a basic point-of-care laboratory (Lab-In-A-Box) and simple clinical guidelines for the most commonly encountered medical problems. Since inception, approximately 1,000 patient encounters have been completed through Operation Village Health.
Reviews of this program have demonstrated high levels of patient satisfaction, and a decreasing need to transfer patients to distant health care facilities. Selected from a multi-national field of more than 100 projects, Operation Village Health was chosen as the 2006 winner of the health category in the Stockholm Challenge - an international forum recognizing technology innovation as a way to improve the lives of those in the developing world.