Yellow Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus


Zidi Software at work, Kenya

EFFICIENCY, PROFITABILITY or SUSTAINABILITY are three words that are gaining more frequent use in medicine.  Some operators of clinics would suggest that these big three words are synonyms of QUALITY.  Regardless, in good and bad times, owners or operators of clinics must attend to three essential questions with numbers:

1)     Am I using my fixed assets (people, equipment, office space, etc.) efficiently and safely?

2)     Am I loImageImagesing revenue at the point of collection or through poor pricing of services?

3)     Am I effectively using my drug inventory, loosing patients because of stock-outs, or is too much cash flow tied to drugs sitting on the shelves for 90-plus days and being lost through pilferage or expiration?


These management questions cannot be answered by manual processes, billing software or by simple electronic health records software. Modern operators of clinics need more robust, real-time analytics to be on top of their game. One option is to hire more staff, notably, a highly skilled honest CFO. The other option is to go digital with an enterprise management solution.


Today we feature ZiDi™, an enterprise management solution developed in Kenya and designed to tackle the practice management challenges at the facility level as well as for networks of facilities (hub and spoke systems).


Yes, ZiDi™ facilitates history taking, diagnosis and treatment of diseasesusing its front end EMR (Electronic Medical Record) interface. But it does more… The data collected for each patient is aggregated to enable the hospital administrators monitor service utilization, consumption of all drugs and supplies, and then autogenerates demand forecasts for each drug.  The patient throughput in each service is visible via any internet-enabled device, including your cell phone.


So, what are the benefits of using an enterprise solution like ZiDi™?

       i.          Improves scheduling and the management of repeat visits for patients with chronic diseases to ensure that patients don’t miss their follow-up visits.  Patients can be tracked by due dates, name, or other unique identifiers with the push of a button. This improves marketing and case management. ZiDi™ increased patient flow by 20% in a model site in Kenya.

      ii.          Helps you make data-driven management decisions: ZiDi™ automates tracking of utilization of services, cash flow by line of service, commodities consumed and in-stock, personnel productivity, and user-defined health indicatorsat facility level. Armed with data, you can better control cost and improve your staff’s productivity by 30%.

     iii.          Offers clinics and hospitals a One-Stop-Shop integrated solution. All primary care lines of service (ANC, TB, FP, HIV, PNC, CWC…), all specialties and auxiliary services are available in ZiDi™. ZiDi™ is ICD-10 compliant. Laboratory orders and results, drug prescription and dispensing, operating room and anesthesiology reports, inpatient services, billing and collections, etc. are seamlessly integrated in ZiDi™.  

    iv.          Works in on-line and offline modes. Clinician can access patient records anywhere and everywhere; rural or urban. The data is backed up in the cloud once Internet connectivity is established. No worries about loosing data or accessing data on the go.

      v.          Easy to use – the point and click interface minimizes the need for typing. The health records captured are easy to retrieve and review. Time spent trying to decipher scribbled text in patient files and the cost of maintaining stockpiles of files are eliminated.

    vi.          Customizable – Each clinic can customize ZiDi™ to meet their unique needs. The list of services, the associated fees and inventory, the process flow, the user rights, are all customizable for the facility with minimal effort.

   vii.          Auto-generates all Ministry of Health mandated reports. Private, faith-based clinics can benefit from a variety of subsidies if monthly reports are submitted to health authorities.


In summary, operators of clinics who adopt smart enterprise solutions like ZiDi™ can achieve new heights of efficiency, profitability, sustainability and quality of care. Early adopters will easily set themselves apart in this very competitive market.

To find out more about ZiDi™ contact:

The people behind production processes


Behind every product or service is a chain of people. Managing these people, their hopes and aspirations is the business of Human Resource Management.


The human resource cycle in your solo/small/medium/large practice should be the standard operating procedure in your jurisdiction. Nepotism in staff recruitment will hurt productivity at some point.


Performance appraisal comes in several guises one of which is the 360 degree appraisal which has its adherents and opponents in equal measure.


Good performance should be rewarded or and poor performers should be chastised. This is the carrot and stick approach.


Your front office staff are the window to your enterprise.Do you invest in their clothing and grooming?


Security and access control staff could make or break your business by mishandling and redirecting your patients/clients. Do you provide them with refreshment?


How do staff exit from your employment and do you operate a retirement benefits scheme?


By next month all Kenyan employers will have to be Workmans Injury and Benefit Act compliant. You will be expected to have a Personal accident cover of KSh 1 Million for each of your employees!!


Labour laws are being revised all the time. Do you have a Human resources Manager at your beck and call. If not ……….You only need to ask to be hooked up with one. Call +254720297433 or email 

A Doctor calls 911

Dr. Maji ya Kunde  swiveled on his vertebrae-aligning, self-adjusting, carbon fiber seat. In one

orbit, he saw the beautiful flowers, in the stained glass vase, on his Mahogany paneled table, the

Ipad, the hand sanitizer, the air conditioner and back to the pulsing light of a ringing phone.


A person who had no hesitation making an incision into a human organ was at a loss, whether to

pick the call or not. The name showed him that the person on the other end was the

headmistress of his daughter’s school. It was not a case of indiscipline, Mandi was a well-

mannered girl – it must be the outstanding school fees.


When the pulsing light went off, he mentally ticked off the excuse to use when he spoke to the

teacher, “ I was in the middle of a complicated emergency operation, that took 12 hours”, that always

worked. It appealed to people’s sympathy for him, not the patient and it also implied he had no

time to write tedious cheques for school fees or rush to the bank for a withdrawal.


He sometimes hated his phone, especially when someone called using an unidentified number.

He was not sure whether it was the loan officer being clever or the medical supplier asking when

he was going to settle the invoices or maybe a referral that he sorely needed to keep his business-

head above water.


Again he took in the lavish office, heard the chitchat of his beautiful assistant and the receptionist

manning the front desk, all meant to attract high paying clientele.


Was he a business person? Well that sounded like he was a hawker. He needed his invoices paid

but had no guts to haggle with his patients, but he needed the money otherwise … well let’s not

get there. Was he to turn away a sick patient who owed him or that 15 year repeat patient with

arthritis who behaved like a shareholder in his practice?


He needed help, it was now or never or he would regret why he did not become a florist, talking of

flowers, the florist was coming to replace them tomorrow and would expect  payment for the

wilting ones.


He picked his card file, plucked a green, white and silver one, “Wealth in Health Care”.


The three missed calls from the school principal firmed his resolve; it was time to call a colleague,

Dr. Melvin D’lima, Business Advisor to health care professionals. It was time to call 911.


By Antony Kinyanjui,

Advocate and Author 


© KK




The  Africa Capacity Alliance is holding a month long Business skills training for private healthcare practitioners starting  May 12 2014. This will cost USD 100 only for 3 days of face to face didactic and 1 month of online instruction.For details contact

Melvin will be a resource person in a mentorship workshop organized by Funzo Kenya  and the Kenya Healthcare Federation  for Faculty  in selected training institutions involved in  training of effective health care professionals to be held during the last week of May 2014

Melvin will be providing logistical support for an Orthodontic course for Dentists to be conducted in 2 modules by Dr Skipp Truitt in Nairobi from July 18 – 23, 2014.Spaces for this course are rapidly being filled

Listening skills


Words rarely express the entire message that is being communicated.However words are a window into the soul of a patient/client.

There are many barriers to listening and these have consequences on the level of communication required to expose a symptom.

Signs and symptoms aid diagnosis. Signs are seen, felt and heard. You will not hear if you don’t listen.

Listening is an important part of history taking and interrogation. It requires some humility to listen. Policemen learn to listen for lies, fear and guilt.

Clinicians and service industry professionals learn to listen for dissatisfaction,disability and irritability.

The customer is king. Listen to her/him and you will remain in a long term mutually beneficial relationship.

Experts must realize that the only real expert is s/he who wears the shoe and knows where it pinches. Stop trying to second guess them and listen.

The first response when you ask someone how they are is “I am fine” . In order to scratch below the surface one has to ask further questions to get to the truth.

When I ask a private health care professional, how their business is ….I get a number of stock answers, to which I have a further set of questions. I often discover a problem below the wellness.

Are you interested in  your business’ wellness? I have good news for you ………..You only need to ask. I will listen!!. Call +254720297433 or email

Because every professional must practice profitably