Assessment of the Health Information System in Sekyere West District

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Health Information Systems are designed to produce information for decision making and to enable management ascertain the progress made by an organization towards achieving its objectives. It aids in allowing optimal utilization of resources, in planning for better intersectoral coordination, and in monitoring and evaluation of activities. Information systems are thus a potent tool of management and also essential for initiating programmes in any field. An observation of HIS in the Sekyere West District revealed that there were some weaknesses in the system. The study therefore assessed the HIS in the Sekyere West District to make recommendations in order to improve health care delivery in the district and Ghana as a whole. Specific areas of interest in the study included assessing the adequacy of data collected for analysis: - Information needs and indicators - Personal and environmental factors influencing data collection - Relevance of data - Analysis of data - Timeliness of reporting - Uses of data - Feedback - Problems with current HIS - Information Technology and its usefulness A quantitative descriptive study was used. Validity of data collected was checked using the face validation method. The study was conducted in ten health facilities in the Sekyere West District. The ten study health facilities were chosen by simple random sampling. These are, Mampong District Hospital, Nsuta Health Centre, Kwamang Health Centre, Atonsu Health Centre, Asaam Health Centre, Krobo- Dadiese Health Centre, Kofiase Health Centre, Benim Health Centre, Apaah Health Centre and the MCH/FP Clinic at Beposo. Findings at the facility level showed that adequate data were collected but some were incomplete while others were inaccurate. There was a uniform format for collecting data at the different facilities. Returns were submitted on monthly basis, submissions were sometimes late. At the facility level data was analyzed by way of aggregation of data collected on daily basis. Each data prepared for submission to the DHA. At the District level returns were collated and submitted to the RHA. Returns were however not being used for decision making hence, under-utilization of data. Comparing the study with the conceptual framework it was observed that raw data is collected and processed into indicators but is not being used for decision making, hence there is a break in the management information stages. For the system to become operational, an efficient supervision and monitoring system will have to be put in place at all the levels of health facilities in the Sekyere West District. It will also be important to train all health workers on basic concepts and relevance of an efficient HIS.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfilment of the requirement for MSc. degree in Health Services Planning and Management, 2004