Pro Bono Profile: Helping Interplast Berlin Support More Children in Need of Surgery
INTERPLAST-Germany eV is a nonprofit organisation made-up of doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and volunteers who deliver free reconstructive surgery to patients in developing countries who suffer from malformations due to accidents, war, or disease and are unable to afford healthcare. In a logistical tour de force that requires at least six months to prepare, the INTERPLAST-Berlin/Paraguay team, led by Medical Director Dr. Annett Kleinschmidt and Team Leader Dr. Horst Schuster, move their surgical clinic to Ciudad del Este (near the Argentine-Brazilian border in Paraguay) for two weeks every year.
When the team arrives, patients are selected according to the urgency of their situation. To prioritize, the team needs to create a file for each patient and attach pictures highlighting the required surgery. With over 300 applicants and 60-80 patients receiving treatment each year, the team found it difficult to plan and manage the surgeries. “In the early years, our processes were paper based,” explains Dr. Kleinschmidt. “That was not only very time consuming and expensive, but it was also error-prone, with photos, for example, not being correctly assigned to patient files.”
A game-changing solution built on Salesforce
Interplast needed a user-friendly, mobile solution with offline capabilities that the team could use onsite in Paraguay to support their work. Salesforce was the answer. And with support from Salesforce employees via the pro bono program, the organisation is charting a path to success.
After consulting with Interplast and identifying its needs, the EMEA Central CSG team got to work on a custom-made application using Salesforce and Customer Times CT Mobile Application that makes patient management faster and easier— and automatically maps patient photos to the appropriate files.
When the app goes live on the team’s return to Paraguay later this year, Interplast will be able to use a mobile device during surgery to gather all necessary information and add it to patients’ records in Salesforce.
“We use Salesforce to capture data on patients and visits, to create surgery plans, and to enter information,” explained Dr. Schuster. “Medical findings which we discover during our visits can be entered directly in the system. This information is also important for any follow-up treatment.”
Taking new capabilities offline and on the move
But our work isn’t finished yet. The Salesforce pro bono team is now developing a means by which Interplast can take photos from the inside of the mouth using a modified ring flash camera that can push photos into Salesforce with less manual work.
With doctors and nurses taking hundreds of photos each day, the Salesforce team has simplified the process by enabling photos to be automatically assigned to patient records, and by adding the patient’s details to every photo as a Quick Response (QR) Code. This can also be done offline, which is helpful because of the often unstable internet connection in Paraguay.
“Mobility plays a crucial role for us, because during the day we work in the operating room and during the night we have to identify which patients have been seen, because not every team member has seen every patient,” said Dr. Kleinschmidt. “We had to look at pictures and they had to be assigned correctly. Thanks to the Salesforce app, this process works automatically. We are saving a lot of time and our picture database has become more reliable. Today we can focus on our patients and Salesforce does the rest.”
Dr. Schuster adds, “It’s not only a software to manage patients, but also a software to manage Interplast.”
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