219301 Operational study of the quality of health data aggregated by community health workers in the Upper East Region of Ghana

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Stephane Helleringer, PhD , Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Jemima A. Frimpong, PhD, MPH , Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
James F. Phillips, PhD , Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
J. Koku Awoonor - Williams, MD, MPH , Upper East Regional Directorate, Ghana Health Services, Bolgatanga, Ghana
Francis Yeji, Msc , Research Unit, Navrongo Health Research Centre, Navrongo, Ghana
Objectives: Assess the quality of health data compiled by community health workers (CHWs) by comparing district data summarized from data aggregated by CHWs during routine operation to data aggregated by independent researchers. Methods: Compared summary reports aggregated from patient data by CHWs (“site report”) to summary reports compiled by data audit experts using the same raw data (“validated report”). Completeness and accuracy of data from site reports, including number of antenatal care visits, postnatal follow-up visits, immunizations, and malaria cases were compared to that of independently validated reports. Predictors of data quality such as community health worker, community, and system characteristics were included in the analysis using binary logistic regression. Results: All sites provided site reports to the district health management teams, but there were significant errors in the data aggregated by CHWs. Some variables were over-reported in site reports whereas others were under-reported. Staff shortages during community outreach were associated with declines in CHWs recording information about clinical encounters in patient registers or in patient health books. Conclusion: Quality of data compiled by CHWs is important to monitoring site performance, informing district level decision-making about budget allocations, and guiding national policies. This highlights the importance of streamlining data aggregation processes as a pathway to improve evidence-based decision making; at the community health center as well as higher levels of the health system.

Learning Areas:
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Explain sources of error in data compiled by community health workers Describe possible linkages between CHW data collection and reporting on estimates of coverage on essential maternal and child health indicators Discuss the implications of CHW health information on decision-making at district levels Identify means through which CHW data capture could be improved to ensure adequate planning of service delivery

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an investigator on the project, and lead studies that examine the impact of community health programs on worker efficiency and delivery of health services.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.