Under the current Health Management Information System (HMIS), health facilities record health service data using paper-based tools, aggregate this recorded data on HMIS paper forms, and hand deliver it to the District Health Office (DHO)/District Public Health Office (DPHO), where it is digitized and put into the web-based HMIS. This paper-based reporting practice is time consuming and introduces more opportunities for human error, whether while recording on paper, reading hand- written data, aggregating, or entering data in web-based HMIS, directly affecting data quality, and compromising the ability of policy-makers to draft effective policies based on this data.
The Health Management Information System (HMIS) will be supporting the DHOs/ DPHOs to initiate implementation of electronic health record systems from individual health facilities using the standard software provided by HMIS. With the key objective of standardizing any Electronic Health Records implementations at health facilities, the Ministry has developed this ‘Minimum Standards and Guideline for implementing an Electronic Health Record system’.
Benefits of an EHR system:
- Less time spent by clinicians compiling reports
- Improved data quality due to error-checking, and fewer human interventions
- Data available to help with decision-making at the facility level
- Always updated HMIS forms
- Cost-saving in the long run from printing, transportation and storage of paper-based forms
- Improved clinical decision-making with embedded standard clinical protocols and continuous quality improvement capability
The key objective of this initiative is to ensure timely availability and use of quality data in planning, monitoring and decision making at different levels; particularly at the point of data generation.
The specific objectives of this guideline include:
- Define minimum standards for initiating e-reporting from health facilities, and by doing so maintaining uniformity among the various facilities.
- Provide guideline to the stakeholders at different levels in initiating e-reporting from health facilities
- Support health facilities in reporting electronically
- Promote use of data for monitoring, planning and decision making at different levels; particularly at the point of data generation
- Reduce data entry work load at District Level, allowing for more time on analysis
It is envisioned that these objectives can be met by following the standards prescribed in this document, followed by a strong monitoring mechanism.