Improving the quality, access to and use of data for effective health service delivery

At HISP-SA we believe that health care data must be used for evidence-based decision making and management purposes. Our in depth knowledge on the functioning of routine health information systems allows us to support people who work at all levels in the health system - from data collectors in clinics and hospitals, to clinicians, information managers and decision/policy makers at district and national levels.

We offer a wide variety of individualised support, ranging from understanding the data collection and collation process, to improving data quality, to the development of an integrated and essential National Indicator Data Set (NIDS). Our team also has extensive experience in the analysis and use of information, and in innovative ways to present and display data that empowers managers and decision makers to create a culture of strategic information use at all levels.

Some of our data quality and use of information solutions

Good quality data in a health system is a prerequisite for better information, better decision-making, and better service delivery, which in turn leads to a healthier population. Across the health system, the quality of reported data is dependent on the underlying data management and reporting systems - stronger systems should produce better quality data.


HISP-SA therefore developed the RIPDA tool - an innovative solution that allows for regular internal auditing of facilities in a way that mimics the Auditor General processes. The tool is used to identify and address data quality challenges in a timely manner and ensure that facilities can verify and improve the quality of their data and are better prepared for the Auditor General auditing process.


The RIPDA tools help facilities to:

  • verify the quality of their reported health data,
  • assess the system that produces that data, and
  • develop action plans to improve both.

As of May 2019, RIPDA’s have been conducted at 7.3% of PHC facilities and 12.3% of Hospitals

1788 number of facility and partner staff have been trained to use the RIPDA tools.


See the RIPDA case study (link to RIPDA CS doc)

Our three day EBHRM course is aimed at empowering District Management Team members and Primary Health Care facility and hospital managers to use data in the DHIS dashboards for evidence-based decision-making. Access to this data should help them to accelerate progress towards targets.


Course participants have found it useful noting that:

“It will help in monitoring the DHP” EBHRM course participant

“The course helps to know where to focus” EBHRM course participant

“All managers should undergo this training” EBHRM course participant

18 EBHRM workshops facilitated since July 2019

430 participants from 19 districts in all 9 provinces trained

To support effective and efficient use of resources, we are making use of routine data from the DHIS2, geospatial mapping tools (GIS) and published data from StatsSA to give healthcare decision-makers access to better data to improve the prioritization and allocation of resources.


This use of multiple data sources and geospatial analysis offers a powerful tool to:

  • map where resources are currently allocated,
  • identify priority areas for healthcare and outreach services (by combining social determinants of health data with burden of disease models), and
  • track the effectiveness and evaluate the impact of services.

As a pilot, we used the solution to examine coverage of Ward Based Primary Health Care Teams (WBPHCOTs) in Thabo Mofutsanyana District in the Free State Province.

Analysing Stats SA data on numbers of people in each income band by the total number of people per ward, we identified wards where more than 60% of people live in the Upper Bound Poverty Line. We then used GIS tools to map the ward areas, the distances community health workers travel to reach households, and looking at data on the HIV disease burden in the area, to determine if the identified poverty areas are deserving of WBPHCOT services from a public health perspective.


Learn more (link to the GIS presentation)

90-90-90 is a set of goals adopted by the United Nations to achieve HIV epidemic control. Accurate and reliable data is critical to effectively monitor progress to achieving these goals.


We are supporting the South African Department of Health to ensure quality data is easily accessible to support and monitor 90-90-90 initiatives, by ensuring accurate and reliable data to monitor the implementation of HIV testing and treatment programs to determine where more intensive focus is needed to meet these goals.


We have developed a number of dashboards that make relevant data on progress to 90-90-90 related indicators easily and readily available to decision-makers, including integrating data from the TB information system, ensuring data quality. We also train managers on how to access and use the dashboards.


The 90-90-90 dashboards give decision-makers almost real-time data on progress towards achieving targets and areas where additional support is required.


Read our 90-90-90 case study (add link to case study)