Training on data quality and utilization

on 18 January 2016
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360 health professionals were trained on data quality and evidence based decision-making in the framework of the project.

The project "Technical assistance to support the strengthening of the health information system in Tajikistan" conducted training on data quality and evidence based decision-making. 360 professionals from facilities of the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of the health care system, including managers and medical statisticians we were trained at the national level.

The training was organized in July - September 2015 in cooperation with the Tajik State Medical University named after Abuali Ibn Sino and the Republican Centre for Medical Statistics and Information of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan.

"The main purpose of the DHIS2 system is to provide accurate data, with practical significance for evidence based decision-making with regard to the health system functions. The quality and usability of data as well as their validity are the three main components of a health management information system implementation. Data use is one of the biggest challenges in implementing an information system. It is for the first time in Tajikistan that a training on data quality and evidence based decision-making was organized for managers of health institutions and health statisticians. The training has enjoyed a great interest among the participants. The course will be included in the curriculum of the Tajik State Medical University named after Abuali ibn Sino", - says Mr. Salohiddin Miraliyev, Head of the Public Health Department of the Tajik State Medical University. 

The DHIS2 system has been fully adapted for data entry, analysis and reporting. Starting with 1st of January 2015 the information system functions on-line in all 65 cities and districts of the Republic of Tajikistan. The statistical report of the health care system for the year 2014 was successfully compiled with the use of the DHIS2 system. The designed health indicators module allows to monitor the implementation of the National Health Strategy for 2010-2020, as well as other national strategies and programs. Most indicators are calculated at the level of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as at the provincial and district levels.

Quality control tools, such as confirmation of the completion and validation of input data, the determining the data that significantly deviate from the average range, as well as other functions, are also built into the DHIS2 system. The development of any information system is a solution to a number of mathematical problems. Diseases and deaths are coded according to their causes. Without this, the information system cannot recognize and classify the cause of a disease or death. A big challenge in addressing this problem was lying ahead. The Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan was traditionally engaged in coding the causes of death, but it was not enough for the successful implementation of the information system. 

Therefore, in 2014, with the support of the World Health Organization, the National Center for Medical Statistics and Information developed a 3-day program and materials for training health professionals in coding of diseases and causes of death according to the International Classification of Diseases № 10. With this positive experience, the project additionally supported the training of 720 professionals from all cities and districts during the years 2014-2015. This made it possible to create in DHIS2 eight reporting forms based on the data from the statistical tickets. Most of the responsibility for the correct reporting on causes of diseases and deaths falls on the family doctor and specialists working at the level of primary health care. To prevent errors, the project recommended the establishment of a quality council at the level of each health facility, with the functions of checking data quality and training newly recruited professionals in ICD-10 encoding.

Data quality depends on many factors and data quality problems are identified much faster after the implementation of the information system. This is an area, which stands at the intersection of clinical medicine and medical statistics. The more often the data is used, the better their quality becomes, as the skills of working with data improve, as well as the methods of their use. It takes a constant and assiduous work, which bears its fruit of grace and it is unlikely that those who have acquired this experience would want to return to the previous level.