Good day Neil
You ask a very critical question: "How can we better meet the information needs of patients in low-resource settings?"
In my opinion there is no standard way we can prescribe as to how this can be done. This will depend on a number of factors including but not limited to the availability of human and other resources and the cultural contexts in which we operate. Within the context of limited resource settings I think the best way to do this will be through integration of health information provision services into the service delivery model. It should start when we train cadres who will ultimately provide services in health facilities. Training curricular should incorporate customer care modules that encourage sharing information with clients. This should apply to both preservice and in-service training. Monitoring and evaluation systems should then be able to incorporate indicators that track the provision of information to clients. It is critical to have feedback mechanisms that can assist facilities to identify gaps and address them. The Result Based Framework has been used in Zimbabwe to track and incentivize achievement of certain outputs and this can be a system which can be leveraged on to incorporate provision of health information to clients in the public sector.
HIFA profile: Venus Mushininga is a pharmacist with the Ministry of Health and Childcare in Zimbabwe. She is a founder and President of the Zimbabwe Society of Oncology Pharmacy and the Zimbabewan delegate to the European Society of Oncology Pharmacy. Professional interests: Oncology, Dissemination of information through to Health Professionals and the public, Research. She is co-coordinator of the HIFA working group on information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines.
Email: vmushininga AT gmail.com