When a Doctor is Just a Cell Phone Call Away

Posted by CorinneRamey on May 25, 2008

Roberta Lamptey Nartey, a family health practitioner in Ghana, used to rely on the walkie talkies of the security guards to communicate between hospitals where she worked. Once she wanted a woman who had had a severe asthma attack transferred from the Korle Bu Polyclinic to the surgery unit of another hospital. Nartey left a message with the night nurses to transfer her patient and wrote a note in the patient's chart, but to her chagrin, the asthmatic patient never appeared in the surgery unit. "I told the security man at the Surgical Unit to send a message to the security man at the polyclinic using his walkie talkie," Nartey wrote. "The security man at the polyclinic then went to the female ward at the polyclinic to remind the nurses on the morning shift that I was waiting at the Surgery Ward." After several layers of communication, Nartey's patient finally made it to surgery.