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For fuller utilization of health data

, : For fuller utilization of health data. World Health Forum 9(3): 405-408

Work is proceeding on the microcomputerization of health information in 6 of Papua New Guinea's 19 provinces. Indicators are being obtained for provincial decision-making and for monitoring progress towards the health for all goals, and graphs are being generated to facilitate data interpretation. If the system proves successful the remaining provinces will be given the opportunity to participate. With the support of the Asian Development Bank, the new health information system is planned to provide up-to-date information for management, to relieve supervisors from manual data analysis, to make available useful information to be sent regularly to health centers, and to provide more complete information for provincial planners. A health management consultant and a computer analyst/programmer were engaged to work on the computerization of the provincial information. Data available for the new system include antenatal services, family planning, child clinics, immunization, communicable disease reporting, facilities, and causes of death. Emphasis is on population-based coverage and incidence rates. Reports generated tally and analyze data for the health center, district, and provincial levels. All hardware and software were designed with consideration of the remoteness of the provinces and to provide maximum backup. 2 identical microcomputers were chosen. Training was given to 3-4 staff members selected by each provincial Assistant Secretary in menu selection, data entry, report production and file maintenance. No programming is taught because it is felt that this would be unnecessary. The Department of Health will provide continuing technical support to the provinces as needed. An evaluation 1-2 years after implementation will see whether computers have been maintained and used on a regular basis and whether the information produced has been used by provincial health staff.


PMID: 3252836

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