Online Program

Assessing data quality of international health indicators

Monday, November 2, 2015

Andrea Gerger, Health Information and Analysis Unit, Pan American Health Organziation, Washington DC, DC
Patricia Soliz, Health Information and Analysis Unit, Pan American Health Organziation, Washington DC, DC
The aim of the work is to propose a conceptual framework for assessing the data quality of health indicators. The WHO Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO) is monitoring the progress of national and international agreed health goals based on data that countries annually report to the Regional Office. Poor data quality undermines M&E and decision-making and the credibility of the institution that shares the indicator. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there is a recognized need to raise the awareness for better and comparable health statistics that will benefit the US in monitoring progress of global health projects.

For this, we used infant mortality rate (IMR) per 1,000 live births and infant deaths, as reported from countries to AMRO in 2014, infant deaths from the AMRO mortality database, and United Nations IMR estimates. We assessed national IMR of countries with good and poor performing health information systems in the Americas.

The framework proposes five quality dimensions: accuracy, consistency, coverage, timeliness, and interpretability. For each dimension, a simple measurement method was defined based on available data and sources. The five dimensions were individually scored and the overall data quality was presented in a radar graph that visualized the strengths and weaknesses of each dimension.

The findings prove a simple method to show the multidimensionality of the concept of data quality. They demonstrated the utility of the concepts, its operational applicability and its usefulness for measuring data quality. Therefore, this approach could serve countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to evidence the quality of their national health indicators.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the most important quality dimensions to assess data quality of health indicators Evaluate data quality of an indicator and identify its strengths and weaknesses Formulate data quality improvement interventions based on the assessment

Keyword(s): International Health, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator of the international health indicators project; I am leading the technical discussion of the health indicators at the WHO Regional Office of the Americas. My specific focus and interest is on strengthening the quality of health statistics and develop strategies that serve front line workers and health information personnel at sub-national country level to generate, evaluate, and interpret health statistics.
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.

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