Reply To: Identifying & Meeting User Needs

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Michael Edwards

Thank you Theo for your (as always) insightful comments.
Our most recent forum discussed the issues surrounding interoperability, and I’m sure that issues around data quality (accuraccy, completeness, and timeliness) should also be addressed again in the RHINO Forum series.
Concerning your request for how data visualization platforms(decision support systems) address quality issues, I would like to mention a couple of examples.

In Eritrea, the Decision Support System that is attached to their HMIS has Missing Reports as one of the available Indicators that can be graphed or mapped. So the number or percent of missing reports can be graphed monthly or annually, and as with any indicator, they can drill down from the national to sub-national (Regional or Zoba, Sub-Zoba, Health Facility) levels to see exactly when and where the problem exists.

Often times, systems only report the annual percentage of missing reports by district. I think that this analysis doesn’t fully expose the type of missing data quality problem that the district has. For example, one district could have 1 or 2 facilities that are totally non-compliant and don’t send any reports, and another could have numerous facilities that intermittently have a missing report. Both of these districts could show the same annual percentage of missing reports, but the intervention to resolve the problem would be different.

In the Niger SNIS (Système National d’Information Sanitaire), a special summary report on Missing Reports can be generated that gives an annual analysis of the missing reports by quarter (quarter is the reporting period). Thus the district managers and HMIS advisors can easily determine which facilities are missing reports and when they missed sending their reports.

Concerning data quality in general, in our recent MEASURE Evaluation Mid-Term All Staff meeting, it was announced that the most requested tool used by the project was the RDQA (Routine Data Quality Assessment) Tool. I think that this is a sign that routine data sources have taken on a more important role in determining health program effectiveness.
best wishes, MikeE