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Volume 2, Issue 2 October 2012

Pacific Health Information Network

Vanuatu: Revising HIS monthly reporting One of the major challenges faced by HIS in developing countries is the large amount of data being collected at lower levels of the data collection chain by health workers in addition to what is perceived as their own “clinical” work In addition to often being untrained in the use of data collection tools (HIS Forms), being passed on generation after generation of health workers, staff also have to battle language barriers (forms are often developed by expatriate data managers). Forms are rarely revised to suit changing data requirements or language needs, especially when forms are used by national staff at lower and peripheral level health facilities.

national language, is the predominant language used at health centers, dispensaries and aid posts. Questionnaires have shown that health staff at these facilities prefer the forms to be in Bislama, even though some medical terms cannot be translated and are used as-is.

reduction of 137 data cells.

Key stakeholders were consulted in one-to-one meetings, workshops or surveys using a structured questionnaire. Stakeholders included individual Program Units within the Ministry of Health, Vila Central Hospital Staff, field staff like nurse and nurse aids, Keeping these issues in mind, along Village Health Workers, Directors of with key reporting requirements of Public Health as well as the Corpodevelopments partners like WHO, rate Unit within the MoH, developSPC, UNICEF, UNFPA, AusAID and ment partners in the field of health in their Vanuatu Joint Partners Working Vanuatu, the HIS Task Force consistGroup (JPWG), the indicators in the ing of inter alia, members from Civil Vanuatu National Health Sector Registration Office (CRO), National Strategy (2010-2016), Performance Statistics Office (NSO), Prime MinisAssessment Framework (PAF), Prior- ter’s office (PMO) and the Ministry of ity Action Agenda (PAA) and MDG’s; Health. the existing 4 page (A4 size) form, has been revised to a 2 page (A3 size) The newly revised HIS form was form written in the local language of cleared with appreciation by the HIS Bislama. The form will be printed into Task force and is now ready to be a triplicate, self-carbon paper book- approved by the highest governing let with explanation of terms in body in the Ministry of Health on 02 French and English on both insideOct 2012. cover pages. Author: Ms. Bindu Varghese, HIS AdAusAID has kindly agreed to fund the visor to Ministry of Health in Vanuprinting of these booklets and one atu. In consultation with Mr. Jeffrey will be printed for each health cenTila, HIS Manager, MoH Vanuatu tre/dispensary for a two-year period. The booklet will ensure that the mas- For more information, please contact ter copy is not lost at the health facil- Jeffrey on ity itself, as loose pages tend to be misplaced easily.

Over time, global reporting requirements have changed and with the monitoring of MDG’s, it is important for countries to reflect relevant indicators in their data collection tools. In the case of Vanuatu, at the health centers and dispensaries, a four page HIS form is currently filled-in by hand in triplicate; with the original copy for the health facility, one copy for the Provincial Office and one copy for the national Health Information Unit (HIU). In addition to the tally sheet with 235 data fields, the monthly By this one effort, the reporting burreporting form used for reporting den on nurses has reduced by 66.6 % data to higher levels has approxi(only one set to be handwritten and mately 560 data fields. the others will be replicated automatically). Data cells to be filled have The form was developed in English/ reduced from 560 to 423, another French. However Bislama, the official

Date saver!

February/March 2013 HIS Leadership Forum and PHIN meeting More details coming soon

PHIN Newsletter October 2012

Improving data quality: A guide for developing countries In recent years, data quality has become an important issue, not only because of its importance in promoting high standards of patient care, but also because its impact on government budgets for the maintenance of health services. The purpose of this booklet, developed by WPRO, is to provide a set of guidelines to enable health care workers, health information managers and administrators at all levels to focus on improving the timeliness, accuracy and reliability of health care data. These guidelines have been designed to address all areas in health care where data are collected and information generated. The guidelines describe the activities that should be considered when addressing the question of data quality in health care, regardless of the setting. The reader is guided to assess and, where necessary, improve the quality of data generated in the environment within which they function, regardless of size, remoteness or sophistication. The guidelines are aimed at government policymakers and health care administrators at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care, as well as doctors, nurses, other health care providers and health information managers. All of these share responsibility for the documentation, implementation, development and management of health information services.

Available for download at

Maternal and child health indicators for the Pacific health profiles at variance with other regions in the The Pacific CHIP Team, at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland, world. need your help!!

The Pacific CHIP team will look at available data sources for the 11 core indicators and the relevance Improving maternal and child health is a priority for and functionality of those indicators for the Pacific. Pacific Governments, policy makers, global health After review and consultation with expert inforand donor organisations. Following on from the mants, a framework of MCH indicators for the PaGlobal Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, the United Nations Commission on Information and cific will be developed which builds on Global indicators with recommended modifications or addiAccountability for Women’s and Children’s Health tions and the steps in HIS or policy needed to has developed a framework for monitoring and reachieve this. porting on Maternal and Child Health (MCH) progress, outcomes and investment. This includes deThe CHIP team are seeking assistance from PHIN veloping a core set of indicators to measure MCH members about common data issues and the types and improving health information and vital statisof data currently being captured for maternal and tics. child health. For more information, please contact Lani Stowers on The Pacific CHIP “Keeping Promises, Measuring results” project will review the appropriateness and Additional information is also available at, http:// functionality of the 11 Core MCH indicators for the region. Some indicators may lack relevance Information-Network/182665108473099 in the Pacific context given persisting data gaps and

PHIN Newsletter October 2012  

Learn about Vanuatu's experience in improving their monthly reporting forms. Improve the quality of your statistical reports. Help the Pac...