Appreciating local variations in standardising health care data collection processes and tools: A case of health management information system in Tanzania

The need for integration of health information systems as realised in the 90s by the developing countries resulted into deliberate standardisation initiatives. Software systems, human resources, procedures, and data collection tools were all subjected to standardisation. This standardisation, however, has been so absolute that the local and permanent variations were not taken into consideration.

This study sought to find out how the local variations within the health care provision units can be taken into consideration in the design of health care data collection processes and tools. It employed qualitative, case study design and had 3 data collection techniques: observations, semi‚Äźstructured interviews, and documents review. The study found out that success in standardising data collection tools and processes in health care settings can be achieved if standards are put into clusters as it is unrealistic to subject the different health facility types into the same standards.

The study proposes 3 clusters of standards. The dispensary cluster which accounts for the majority of all health facilities and the hospital cluster which accounts for all advanced diagnosis and treatment facilities and the third, specialised hospital cluster which accounts for specialised services.

Source: Appreciating local variations in standardising health care data collection processes and tools: A case of health management information system in Tanzania – Mahundi – – THE ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES – Wiley Online Li