Online Program

Strengthening routine facility-based health information systems in developing countries: Towards a sustainable data source for measuring the delivery of evidence-based interventions

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Theo Lippeveld, MD, MPH, International Division, JSI, Boston, MA
Hiwot Belay, MPH, JSI, Arlington, VA
Information generated by facility-based routine health information systems (RHIS) provides support to health managers and providers in their daily decision making and enhances efficiency in delivering quality health services. Unfortunately, as shown by various studies, RHIS in most developing countries produce low quality data and the use of information for planning and management of the health services is weak. This presentation highlights the work of the USAID funded MEASURE Evaluation Project in strengthening RHIS in developing countries. MEASURE Evaluation has developed the “Performance of Routine Information System Management (PRISM) framework” as well as a set of tools to measure RHIS performance. The framework and tools postulate that poor use of information for decision making is not only due to technical issues but also a result of organizational and behavioral barriers that hinder the effective use of information. At the end of 2012, 23 countries had applied the PRISM tools to assess the performance of their RHIS. Data quality ranged between 34% and 72%; and use of information between 30% and 53%. Some of the root causes for the low RHIS performance are lack of standardization of the data management processes as well as absence of an information culture. Interventions resulting from these assessments ranged from national RHIS reforms to capacity building in use of information. PRISM assessments after intervention in China, Cote d'Ivoire, and Mexico have shown substantial improvements in RHIS performance. Also, at the global level, MEASURE Evaluation is working on guidelines for RHIS data management standards.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Assess the Routine Health Information System (RHIS) performance using the PRISM tools Identify technical, organizational, and behavioral barriers to the use of information for evidence-based decision making Design an action plan to improve RHIS performance

Keyword(s): Health Management Information Systems, Evidence Based Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have lead projects at global and country levels on health information system (HIS) reform in developing countries. I have published books and peer-reviewed articles on HIS reform. I have lectured on HIS design and implementation at several universities (Harvard University, Boston University, Brandeis University, John Hopkins University). I am the founder and president of RHINO, an advocacy NGO for strengthening RHIS.
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.