Information is what makes a health system a system. It is how health workers can effectively track their patients on each visit taking advantage of a medical record that contains critical information about past or current illness or medications, immunization or pregnancy status and contact information should the patient need to be reached. Patient information is what enables the tracking of referrals from community health worker to clinic or hospital and back to the community health worker. Information is what a supervisor needs to supervise.
D-tree International makes this information available to the health worker as they see the patient, to the supervisor and program manager as the patient is being seen and to the program manager in a format that enables better decision making. However we don’t collect information by asking health workers to fill in long (or even short) forms for data collection. The data we collect and use is a by-product of the electronic decision support that helps front line health workers do their jobs and is incorporated into the decision algorithms as the patient is being seen prompting, for example, to remember to give immunizations that are needed, checking current weight against previous weights and guiding counseling messages to be appropriate for the age, sex and condition of the patient. This patient information then becomes an electronic medical record that enables the transfer of information to referral sites, to supervisors or managers or for disease surveillance.
For the first time, workers throughout the health system have the information they need to make better decisions leading to more effective treatment and a more efficient and accountable health system.