265476 Mobile technology-based approach for facilitating health data collection, sharing, analysis and use in Uganda

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Berhane Gebru, BSc; MSc , TechLab, FHI 360, Watertown, MA
The ability to gather health data and the capacity to analyze and use it for evidence-based decision making, resource allocation, planning, and policy formulation are essential elements for success in all efforts to improve health care. However, the Uganda Ministry of Health has noted challenges facing its national Health Management Information System (HMIS) including inadequate distribution of forms to health facilities, data incorrectly filled, data not analyzed and utilized in planning and decision making processes. To address some of these challenges, the Uganda Health Information Network (UHIN) project was designed to support data collection, reporting, and health information dissemination through a two–way communications system utilizing the existing cellular network and low-cost mobile devices such as PDAs, smart-phones and Netbooks. Currently there are 174 health facilities in Rakai, Mbale, Manafwa, Lyantonde, and Bududa districts using UHIN for capturing and transmitting HMIS data and accessing clinical and public health content. District health offices receive routine data from various levels of health centers through UHIN including monthly HMIS reports, disease surveillance data, and specific reports related to HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. Rural hospitals use UHIN for capturing data on electronic daily registers such as PMTCT, in-patient, lab, HIV counseling, and ART administration. Data is analyzed regularly, and the results are compared with national indicators. The information obtained assists in surveillance of diseases, monitoring resource allocation and utilization, and the generation of reports for management and control. Cost-effectiveness studies conducted by independent consultants in 2004/5 and 2009/10 showed that UHIN delivered a 24 – 25% savings compared to paper-based approaches. The districts using UHIN reported benefits including improved data quality at point of collection, timely access to data for analysis, decision-making and rapid response to emerging situations. The lessons from UHIN provided important evidence in the development of the National Health Information System strategy.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Articulate the technical and environmental challenges confronting deployment of mobile technologies health data collection, reporting, and analysis in developing nations. Describe the benefits of electronic systems for health data gathering and reporting compared to manual systems.

Keywords: Data/Surveillance, Communication Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the design and implementation of the UHIN project; and for logistical, financial, and programmatic management of Information and Communications Technology projects which support health programs in developing countries.
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.