Sanford goes global - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sanford goes global

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The colors are vivid, the smiles wide, the compassion prevalent. These images are from Ghana, a developing country in west Africa, are rich even though many of its people are quite poor.

"It's very different. We have access to almost everything we need to take care of a patient. Over in Ghana one of the goals of Sanford clinic is they're going to have the resources and supplies that they need," said Sanford nurse practioner Deb Hickman.

In 2007, T. Denny Sanford donated 400 million dollars to Sanford Hospital. Part of that gift was intended to establish clinics in North America. But, a need for family services in Ghana soon became a priority. 

"Our clinics provide an access clinic for many of the people who would either have to travel a long distance or wouldn't have access to primary care services, so it's really impactful," said Sanford Executive VP of Development & Research, Ruth Krystopolski. "And, when we were there we saw individuals receiving services that probably wouldn't have access to them without the clinics there."

Right now three Sanford world clinics are operating in Ghana. Five more are expected to open in the next three years.

Hickman has been in the Sanford system for 22 years. Recently, she spend twelve days in Ghana, teaching good practices to the nurses at Sanford's clinics.

"Things like hygiene, clean technique. And, really tried to find out what there needs were so could educate and help them progress," she said.

One tool in particular is helping those working in the Ghana clinics give their patients the best service possible.

"There were people waiting in line at five o'clock in the morning outside the clinic waiting to get in. With the implementation of the DocuTap system we can get people checked in so much faster that they're not lining up ahead of time. They don't have to because they know that they're going to get in," said Krystopolski.

DocuTap is a Sioux Falls based medical software company.

"So when you walk into Sanford's clinic in Ghana it really represents an urgent care in the U.S. Very face-paced, get the patients in and out. And, it's acute items it's not chronic that they're working with," said DocuTap CEO Eric McDonald.

Technology is now brining modern medicine to Ghana through people's finger tips.

"When you walked through those clinics before Docutap there was chaos. We really had 60 to 80 patients in the clinics at any given time, and when I went back this last time it was amazing and neat to see how simple everything was," said McDonald.

From a nurse, to a development executive, to a technology wiz, many hands are helping Sanford Health provide exceptional care across the globe.

 

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