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Health information, research, evidence and knowledge

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Data are crucial in improving health.[1] The ultimate objective of collecting data is to inform health programme planning as well as policy-making and, ultimately, global health outcomes and equity. A well-functioning health information system empowers decision-makers to manage and lead more effectively by providing useful evidence at the lowest possible cost.

A health information system has been aptly described as "an integrated effort to collect, process, report and use health information and knowledge to influence policy-making, programme action and research". It consists of:

  • inputs (resources)
  • processes (selection of indicators and data sources; data collection and management)
  • outputs (information products and information dissemination and use).

The role of a health information system is to generate, analyse and disseminate sound data for public health decision-making in a timely manner. Data have no value in themselves. The ultimate objective of a health information system is to inform action in the health sector. Performance of such a system should therefore be measured not only on the basis of the quality of the data produced, but also on evidence of the continued use of these data for improving health systems' operations and health status.

The health information system[2]

The availability and use of information enables:

  • improved definition of a population
  • recognition of problems
  • setting of priorities in the research agenda
  • identification of effective and efficient interventions
  • determination of potential impact (prediction)
  • planning and resource allocation
  • monitoring of performance or progress
  • evaluation of outcomes after interventions
  • continuity in medical and health care
  • healthy behaviour in individuals and groups.

It also empowers citizens by enabling their participation in health care, policy and decision processes; and empowers countries and international partners by enabling better transparency and accountability through use of objective and verifiable processes.

Health knowledge gaps are where essential answers on how to improve the health of the people in Lesotho are missing. This is an issue related to the acquisition or generation of health information and research evidence. The “know-do gap” is the failure to apply all existing knowledge to improve people’s health. This is related to the issue of sharing and translation of health information, research evidence, or knowledge. Although there are major structural constraints, the key to narrowing the knowledge gap and sustaining health and development gains is a long-term commitment to strengthen national health information systems.

This section of the health systems profile is structured as follows:

Contents

Analytical summary

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Percentage of civil registration coverage for births in Ghana and neighboring countries, 2000-2008
Percentage of civil registration coverage for births in Ghana and neighboring countries, 2000-2008.JPG

...: No data

Percentage of civil registration coverage of deaths in Ghana and neighboring countries, 2000-2008
Percentage of civil registration coverage of deaths in Ghana and neighboring countries, 2000-2008.JPG

...: No data

Context

Structural organization of health information

Data sources and generation

Data management

Access to existing global health information, evidence and knowledge

Storage and diffusion of information, evidence and knowledge

Research

Use of information, evidence and knowledge

Leverage information and communication technologies

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Global Observatory for eHealth
“eHealth for women’s and children’s health” 2013 survey
World Health Organization, Country profiles

National eHealth policy or strategy

The Health Sector ICT Policy and Strategy (2005) are in place and partially implemented. The policy makes specific reference to women’s and children’s health and has dedicated funding from World Bank and WHO. Health Sector ICT Policy and Strategy.pdf

eHealth systems

Recording of births and deaths is done partially for the Ministry of Health is mandated to record these in Hospital/health facilities. District Health Information Management system (DHMIS 2) and Community Electronic Register for Maternal and Child Services under Ghana Health Services collects health data. District Health Planning Analysis and Reporting Tool under Ghana Health Services reports on total health expenditure per capita electronically and operates at Regional/District level.

Women’s and children’s health policy or strategy

There is a policy and strategy and it refers to women’s and children’s health.

Monitoring the status of women’s and children’s health

All 11 parameters are monitored using both electronic and non-electronic methods.

National overview of eHealth initiatives for women’s and children’s health
Health services delivery (all are at Pilot stage)
  • Motech project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates as several aspects under health service delivery
Health monitoring and surveillance
  • Nil
Access to information for health professionals
  • DHIMS 2 is an established program
  • E-Register funded by World Bank registers all pregnant and nursing mothers
Other eHealth programs
  • Nil
Possible barriers to implementing eHealth services

Leadership, Infrastructure, Standards and Financial barriers were sighted and only assessment of infrastructure in all districts and distribution of Laptops has been done.

Knowledge base - eHealth for women’s and children’s health

Yes they are willing to share information

ICT

Endnotes: sources, methods, abbreviations, etc.

References

  1. Everybody’s business. Strengthening health systems to improve health outcomes. WHO’s framework for action (pdf 843.33kb). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2007
  2. Framework and standards for country health information systems, 2nd ed. (pdf 1.87Mb). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008