Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Data Set Must Focus on Service Quality

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

The Data Set Must Focus on Service Quality

Article excerpt

The paper by Vincent Shaw highlights some of the long awaited practical approaches to ensure relevance and use of health information systems in developing countries. The South African experience he recounts is very relevant as current "best practice". It is a very important step forward in the simplification and integration of programme areas and routine services into a shared essential set of routine data. The cohesion of health services and the whole system will be much strengthened by such a shared data reference and information base.

The essential data are still to be selected by programme managers, however, even though the definition of the data set emanated from the district level. It is not shown how the data will be turned into useful information that will assist in planning and monitoring at all levels of the health system. The examples taken from the nutrition programme and the Expanded Programme on Immunization only exemplify health status (outcome) and service provision (output) data.

In the section on specific programme surveys, resource and staff availability are mentioned as well as service quality. It is worrying that these are not shown to be included in an essential routine data set, as it is extremely important that an essential data set allows production and sharing of information on health management. It is also not shown whether quality of care will be viewed from both provider and user perspectives and whether user views on service priorities and other qualitative data are included.

In Shaw's figure, the column of information used by the national level on a routine basis within the triangle of information should be seen as the cote data on facility performance that must be shared in an accessible database for the whole health service and other parts of the health system, and be available for sharing with users and the public. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.