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Patients, Not Paperwork


Jon Woodroof


At Highgroove, we’re no surgeons, but the folks at Hope Builds are. Though we aren’t trained to use scalpels, we’re really good at writing Rails applications, and that’s just what they needed to make their surgical work more effective.

Among other projects, Hope Builds, an Atlanta-based non-profit, improves the standard of living in under-served neighborhoods by providing medical treatment.

Earlier this year, we partnered with them to equip their mobile surgical missions and health education outreach programs in Africa with a web app to make them more efficient so they can focus on patients, not paperwork.

Hope Builds’ mobile surgical missions

More than 100 volunteer medical professionals make up the Hope Builds mobile surgical missions team. Together, they serve huge numbers of people: For example, in the summer of 2011, the program planned to provide medical treatment to 10,000 residents and perform more than 300 surgeries in one Nigerian state alone. Hope Builds provides these services free of charge because patients would otherwise have to forgo care—most patients earn less than $1 a day.

How we helped Hope Builds

Over the course of two pro-bono iterations, Gregg built the MVP of an app that allows surgeons and other Hope Builds volunteers to:

  1. track patients and surgical operations performed during missions.

  2. store and access basic patient information such as name, age, sex and location, along with a photograph.

Because internet connectivity is limited in rural Africa, the app enables basic record creation and retrieval through SMS messaging. Since it’s a web application, a surgeon can log a surgery and the information is immediately available and backed up for users around the world, removing the potential for lost paper records. This is hugely helpful for Hope Builds as they grow, and we were honored to be a part of their global effort!

Helping others

Highgroove is committed to making the world a better place through better code, and organizations often have specific needs that can be solved by custom web applications. If you are affilated with a 501(c)(3) that could benefit from some pro-bono Ruby development, give me a shout!

Image credit: DieselDemon


Jon Woodroof

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