Utilization of health management information systems in the district: a case study at the Bosomtwi-Atwima-Kwanwoma District in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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Health Management Information System assemblies, stores, processes and delivers information relevant to an organization, in such a way that the information is accessible and useful to those who wish to use it, including managers, staff, clients and citizens. Management requires information to increase knowledge, reduce uncertainty and aid monitoring and control. An efficient health information system is thus a prerequisite for the delivery of quality health services and therefore crucial for decision making at all levels. The main objective of the research was to assess the utilization of health management information data for decision-making and to make recommendations for improvement in the Bosomtwi-Atwima-Kwanwoma district of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. A cross-sectional descriptive study was used that sought to compare government health institutions with Mission institutions as well as describing them. In all, fifty-five managers and data collectors were interviewed, but some of the questionnaires were rejected because of poor quality. However, forty-nine questionnaires were valid for analysis. All the health facilities in the district were visited comprising seven Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) facilities and eight government institutions. The key findings of the study show only 85% of data collectors in the district having been trained specifically in form filling and 59% have had in-service training since the beginning of the year. Fifty-five percent of respondents said the monitoring team came for supervisory visits. Comparatively, data collectors from the CHAG institutions needed more training on form filling. Again, the general performance of managers in Government health facilities was better than those in Mission health facilities. In conclusion, for the system to be efficient and effective there is the need to recruit people with the requisite basic qualifications such as technical officers on health information. There was the need for the continuous upgrading of personnel to enable them to cope effectively with needs of the health sector. The CHAG institutions should foster good collaboration with the Ghana health services so as to improve communication. This will intend improve quality of health care in the district.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the master of Science degree in Health Services Planning and Management, 2005