Validating the Effectiveness of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Routine Health Information Systems

Validating the Effectiveness of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Routine Health Information Systems
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Validating the Effectiveness of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Routine Health Information Systems
Citation: MEASURE Evaluation. (2018). Validating the Effectiveness of a Rapid Assessment Tool for Routine Health Information Systems. Chapel Hill, NC, USA: MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina.
Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO), with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded MEASURE Evaluation, has identified and harmonized standards for data management of Routine Health Information Systems (RHIS). Standards, or best practices, promote the production of timely, accurate data for use in program planning, monitoring, and evaluation. An assessment tool, the RHIS Rapid Assessment Tool, has been developed to help identify gaps and weaknesses (aspects of health facility and community information systems that do not reach the identified standard) and, thus, to strengthen RHIS and improve the data. The tool compares a country RHIS to the global standards, and indicates where resources should be invested to improve the system.

The standards in the RHIS Rapid Assessment Tool were identified largely from expert meetings convened by MEASURE Evaluation and WHO in 20122014. In May 2012, MEASURE Evaluation hosted the International Workshop on Guidelines for Data Management Standards in Routine Health Information Systems, in Johannesburg, South Africa. RHIS experts gathered from around world to identify standards and best practices for RHIS, particularly for data management, the element of RHIS that had been identified as the most problematic globally following implementation of the Health Metrics Network (HMN) Country Assessment Tool in more than 85 countries (2008). The discussions were organized around four thematic areas: (1) users data and decision support needs; (2) data collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of Information; (3) data integration and interoperability; and (4) governance of RHIS data management. The standards were field-tested in Nigeria and Bangladesh by MEASURE Evaluation in 2013-2014.

In June 2014, WHO hosted the Technical Consultation on Monitoring Results with Health Facility Information Systems, which took place in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland. The workshop output was developed into a toolkit according to an organizing framework for the key components of a country health facility information system. Those components were (1) governance, an overarching component; (2) data collection and management; (3) data quality and analysis; and (4) data dissemination and use. Within each section, key action steps are identified for countries and provided with examples of available tools and resources to support country action. A checklist of key items and attributes is provided to facilitate monitoring of progress toward defined standards. The checklist is also available as a separate spreadsheet. WHO and MEASURE Evaluation decided to harmonize the two resulting lists of standards, which then became the RHIS Rapid Assessment Tool. The two source documents are available at the following links:

WHO Health Facility and Community Information System Toolkit
MEASURE Evaluation Guidelines on Data Management Standards

The RHIS Rapid Assessment Tool facilitates comparison of country RHIS with global standards, to identify gaps and weaknesses in the system as part of strategic planning for RHIS. The tool was tested in four country workshops (Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, and northern Syria) to validate its effectiveness. Workshop organizers then provided feedback and recommendations to help modify the tool to better meet the needs of users. The Republic of the Gambia provided feedback without testing the tool in a workshop setting.

This document describes the validation process and its results.
Shortname: tr-18-298
Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation
Year: 2018
Language: English