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Assessment of the District Health Information System in the North West Province

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posted on 2018-05-14, 07:11 authored by Petra BesterPetra Bester

Assessment of the District Health Information System in the North West Province

aP Bester, bMS Lubbe, cA Robinson, dJ Clase, bJR Burger, bM Malik

Presenting author’s e-mail:

aAfrica Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom, South Africa

bMedicine Usage in South Africa (MUSA) Faculty of Health Sciences, NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa

cProvincial Office, North West Department of Health, Mahikeng, South Africa

dSchool of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, NWU, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Several apprehensions regarding data quality generated by the District Health Information System (DHIS) were reported. Manual processes integrated with incompatible computerised systems reduced data quality.


DHIS was assessed in 2015 in collaboration with the North West Department of Health to inform policies related to comprehensive eHealth challenges based on empirical evidence.


· Phase 1 a quantitative qualitative design was followed. All-inclusive sample of estimated employee complement (N=1410) was invited to participate. A descriptive cross-sectional design lead to data collected from all levels and service points within the Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Bojanala Platinum Districts. Eight facility/level-of-care-specific questionnaires regarding input, output, process factors of DHIS were completed and statistically analysed. Data collection on different service-levels implied fluctuating sample sizes. Qualitative, interpretive descriptive design followed with individual interviews with managers (n=23) regarding the DHIS.

· Phase 2 shared preliminary results in collaborative seminars in June 2016.

· Phase 3 integrated results towards final conclusions and recommendations.


Five clusters of conclusions with recommendations emerged. Conclusions related to training; data quality; lack of ownership and insufficient data usage; human resources and associated technology adoption; ICT and systems-specific conclusions.


Urgent need for multi-level, purposive training to all service-levels. Top-down system of multiple hand-to-hand actions from bottom-up compromised data quality. Migration from technology adoption towards integration in process with insufficient data usage. Connectivity, insufficient equipment and poor ICT maintenance detrimental to DHIS progress and unprepared for DHIS2. To consider operations software leading to once-off data capturing by health practitioners.


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