Practicing medicine in low-resource settings has its own challenges and the western-based “gold standards” are often not attainable or even appropriate due to limited infrastructure & limited resources. We have seen, though, that high-quality care is possible through willingness, innovation, research, application, and revision.
After much prayer, the Lord brought several of us together to create the ministry of CHSC known as Iron 2 Silver. In Isaiah chapter 60 the Lord is revealing the redemption and blessing of Israel. Verse 1 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” The time of hardship and oppression is coming to an end as the Lord restores what is broken and blesses the nations. Verse 17 says, “Instead of bronze, I will bring gold and instead of iron, I will bring silver.” Our goal is come alongside those already serving the poor and oppressed in the name of Jesus, to lend a hand in elevating iron to something of higher value… silver. To accomplish this, we have coined the phrase the silver standard.
The Silver Standard: Better Care & Improved Outcomes
The Iron 2 Silver team believes that whether located in a low, middle, or high-income setting, a high standard for medical care should always exist. The goal of the Silver Standard is not to mimic a western strategy but to set realistic expectations for healthcare services in limited resource settings. This is thus the “Silver Standard,” striving for the very best healthcare in any given setting. Iron 2 Silver is devoted to helping each mission hospital & clinic reach its “Silver Standard” level through partnering with local leadership in quality improvement and process improvement projects.
The statistics are overwhelming; an estimate of 3.7 billion people globally lack access to basic health care services. And though many good intention non-profits and individuals seek to bring new access to those without. As Christ-followers and health care professionals, we must ask the question; what quality of care is being brought? In LMICs, the burden of mortality is no longer secluded to access to care but now includes quality of care. Published by the Lancet in 2018, an estimated 8.6 million deaths were amendable through greater health care quality. Expanding access to health care does not guarantee improved health conditions in communities.
Strengthening the quality and safety measures of medical processes can lead us to greater consistency and the public’s confidence in the health care systems. Today’s missions’ health facility must not simply be the provider but lead in humility and the unwavering pursuit of quality health care.
Iron 2 Silver emerged from a passion to see the highest level of care delivered in low-resource settings. As medical professionals and Christians, the team desires to honor the Lord with the gifts He has given to each member, to the fullest possible potential. The i2S team approaches medical missions with a sense of high responsibility but also great consideration of how the Lord may use the team to bring Him glory. We believe Christian medical professionals around the world are called to honor every patient because each is made in the image of God, and they are further honored when our gifts of medicine are used to the fullest possible degree. Our mission is not just practicing medicine in a LMIC setting, but using excellent care as the testimony of who Christ is and what he has done for all of us. It is the invitation that says, “come all who are weary and I will give you rest.” . . . “I love you because you were made in the image of Christ, whether you know this yet or not,” and “…rejoice with those who rejoice and weep for those who weep,” because we love them, fight for them, and are pained that death has physical power over us still.
Iron 2 Silver (i2S) is committed to working alongside hospitals and clinics around the world to provide better care & achieve greater outcomes for the communities we serve. The ministry’s process of using contextualized systematic assessments, implementation and analysis not only leads to the standardization of best practices but to individualized decision-making based on location, resources, capacity and sustainability.
i2S works as a consultation service to hospitals and clinics that have specific areas of need identified by the local medical leadership. Often, best practices must be modeled and introduced in one area at a time, as not to overwhelm a system or group of people.
Areas of need may include:
• Neonatal Survival & Care
• Bedside Procedure Training
• Heart Failure Outcomes
• Pediatric Oncology Services
• Diabetes Control
• Sepsis Protocols
• Disease Outbreak & Disaster Preparedness
i2S is supporting Light of the World hospital in Cairo by providing quality and safety expertise, as they strive to provide the highest quality of care for the people of Egypt. http://www.light-of-the-world.org/
More information about current projects will be added soon!