Our support to the South African health sector has helped to develop robust and ever evolving health information systems that empower health care workers and decision makers to improve the coverage, quality and efficiency of health services.

Our longstanding relationships with government, funders, and partners, and our proven ability to manage complex projects, has enabled us to continue to grow and implement a number of successful, innovative systems to improve the ability of the health system to better manage and use data for efficient decision-making.

Our recent projects

Project dates: 2011-2016 and 2017-2021

Funder: PEPFAR through CDC

Project focus: Strengthen the South African national health information system to improve implementation of the country’s HIV and AIDS programme.

Under the Khuphukani project, we provide technical assistance to strengthen the South African government’s National Health Information System and its capacity to accurately, efficiently, and effectively manage and monitor the HIV and AIDS programs’ progress towards epidemic control at the national, sub-national, and facility-levels.

Our technical assistance package includes:

Providing implementation support for the eHealth strategy, District Health Management Information Systems and Health Normative Standards Framework policies and guidelines, with a strong focus on working towards interoperability across health information systems.

  • Ensuring transfer of skills for sustainability through extensive capacity building initiatives, mentorship and implementation support at all levels of the healthcare system.
  • Supporting and strengthening governance structures for data management and building a culture of continuous data quality improvement, evidence based decision making and data-driven healthcare management.

 

A key focus of this project was to transition all nine provinces to the DHIS2 software after the Department of Health had approved the DHIS2 as the national health information system into which all health data from other systems should feed.

We are also working closely with staff at all levels of the healthcare system to strengthen overall health information management by implementing initiatives to improve data quality, strengthen data management and use, and enhance data aggregation and reporting.

To ensure sustainability we have run an extensive range of training and mentoring courses and developed a competency framework for long-term capacity-building and career pathing to build a cadre of staff skilled in all aspects of health information management.

Achievements
  • 9 All provinces are reporting into the DHIS2 at the lowest connected level.
  • DHIS2 data was used for reporting in all 2017 / 18 provincial annual reporting plans.
  • 49% of facilities are capturing data directly into the DHIS2, thereby ensuring data is of better quality and available more quickly.
  • We have established interoperability at various levels between the DHIS2 and the TIER.Net TB data system and the Health Provider Registration Systems (HPRS).
  • 20,269 health personnel including data capturers, managers, information officers and clinicians, trained on DHIS2, data quality, use of information, since 2014.
  • We developed a number of human resources information systems to support improved planning, resource allocation and deployment of health personnel.

Read our success stories from the Khuphukani project (link to Khuph case study booklet)

Project dates: 2014-2016 and 2017-2020

Funder: South African National Department of Health

Project focus: Strengthen the South African national health information system for improved programming and service delivery

Our partnership with the South African National Department of Health is helping to build an integrated national health information system and ensure the Government has access to the best data to inform planning and implementation of health programmes.

Working closely with the Department of Health we successfully transitioned to the DHIS2 at the national level as the national routine health information system. This transition supports the collection, aggregation, analysis and use of district health information to achieve a health information system that delivers timely, quality data from the entire public health system.

We also support the continuing evolution of health information system software and products such as the National Data Dictionary, the WHO data quality tool, and development and updating of the national indicator data set, etc. And we have developed information management and reporting systems for the National Health Council and various national health programs to support performance monitoring and the provision of quality program data.

To help improve the quality and use of data, we provide technical expertise and capacity building to strengthen data quality, use and demand, including developing customised data and pivot dashboards and training and mentoring national level program managers to create their own dashboards and pivot tables and use data for improved program implementation.

Achievements
  • We have made significant strides towards ensuring a more robust, and more integrated national health information system for South Africa.
  • We have supported the ongoing development and implementation of the District Health Management Information Systems policy and standard operating procedures.
  • We strengthened the capacity of national health program and information management staff in health information management.
  • We have helped to improve the quality of the health data by building in validation rules and the WHO data quality tool into the national DHIS2 system, and by training health staff in data quality improvement.
  • We supported the revision and adoption of the national indicator data sets into the DHIS2, developing customized data and pivot dashboards to mentoring staff to create and use the dashboards in their routine programme monitoring and planning.
  • · We developed an information management and reporting systems for the National Health Council to help monitor and record decision.

Project dates: 2014 -2017 and 2018 -2020

Funder: South African National Department of Health

Project focus: Develop and manage a data warehouse that integrates routine health data, socio-economic data and financial data for improved healthcare programming.

The South African National Health Department has recognised that despite a variety of sources of information available to managers, data is still not easily accessible, is often not integrated, and as a result is not utilised as frequently and intensively as it should be to inform decision making.

HISP-SA successfully conceptualised, designed, developed and deployed the NHIRD system, a web-based health information repository that supports information use in preparation for the development of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

The NHIRD uses advanced business intelligence methodologies, applied to health data stored in a “data warehouse,” to improve managers’ understanding of service delivery trends.

The warehouse integrates data from various specialist information systems, such as demographic and health surveys, the District Health Expenditure Review publication, Statistics South Africa surveys and population-based data, and DHIS2 databases.

The software then applies sophisticated data analysis and GIS techniques to the data to creates dynamic data visualisations, highlighting comparisons, trends and relationships. This data empowers managers with an understanding of the status of health services from multiple perspectives, allowing them to make more effective decisions in healthcare programmes and resource allocations.

This has led to increased understanding of the value of information and e-health initiatives for health programming, especially among health managers, which in turn has led to improved data use.

Achievements
  • We developed and implemented the NHIRD data warehouse to support relevant decisions in relation to NHI implementation and service delivery planning.
  • We provide data analysis and data quality improvement support to the implementation of the Health Patient and Health Provider Registration Systems (HPRS).
  • We provide technical support to NHI work streams.
  • We supported the development of the enterprise architecture for the implementation of patient based information systems.
  • We ensure that the data in the NHIRD is of the highest quality.
  • We train and mentor national, provincial and district health staff on the use of the NHIRD, data quality improvement and how to best use the data to improve their programmes.

Project dates: 2016- 2018

Funder: South African National AIDS Council

Project focus: Develop an information system to map areas with a high HIV and AIDS burden and most at risk population to help strengthen HIV and AIDS programmes.

Under the Focus for Impact project, we supported the South African National AIDS Council and the National Department of Health to use data analytics and innovative data visualisations from available data sources to identify areas with a high HIV burden and the most-at-risk populations.

As part of the project’s innovative approach, we developed an online, automated hotspot-mapping system that integrated the DHIS2, GIS and data visualisation technologies. This system allowed us to provide actionable information to improve funding allocations and implementation of programme interventions for HIV service providers in South Africa.

In line with the South African National Strategic Plan, the project presented an effective way to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV and TB, as well as morbidity from STIs, by informing the design and packaging of interventions to target areas with the highest disease burden and populations that are disproportionately at risk of infection.

By identifying HIV high-burden areas and the most-at-risk populations decision-makers are better able to determine where to provide saturated, high-impact prevention and treatment services.

It also strengthens efforts to address the social and structural factors that increase vulnerability to infection.

Achievements:
  • We developed an innovative hotspot mapping solution that supports improved HIV and AIDS programming by:
    • Identifying which geographical areas have a high HIV, TB and STI burden,
    • Profiling epidemiology and associated risks in high burden areas, and
    • Providing data for the development of multi-sectoral implementation plans and interventions.
  • We supported two successful provincial-level pilots and trained 10 staff from the Departments of Treasury and Health, National AIDS Council and provincial staff on how to use the system.

Read the FFI success story (link to the FFI case study)

Project dates: 2014-2017
Funder: South African National Department of Health
Project focus: Support the data capture and information management for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Campaign
 

In line with World Health Organisation recommendations, the National Department of Health, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, launched a national campaign to provide the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine to grade 4 school going girls aged 9 to 13 years as part of primary prevention against cervical cancer. The national campaign therefore consists of two rounds, one during February/March, and the second during August/September of each year.

 

During the initial campaign, we developed a database to improve the quality and accessibility of the HPV campaign data. We then developed a mobile DHIS2 application to support data capture in the field with online and offline data entry which is automatically fed into the campaign database.

 

The mobile app aimed to capture the details of each learner in the first round so that the same cohort could then be tracked during the 2nd round to establish coverage of the second HPV vaccination dose.

 

During the second-year campaign we extended the software and database development of the app to include dashboard for monitoring and reporting. We also provided critical data quality analysis, and trained the provincial data capturing staff and Help Desk staff.

 

The success of this mHealth initiative has allowed us to adapt the DHIS2 tracker mobile app to support community health worker performance and data capturing.

 
Achievements
 
  • 1,605 nurses, district information officers and data capturers trained on the mobile app in both the 2015 and 2016 campaigns
  • 1,4 million + learners received both doses of the HPV vaccine in both the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.
Read the HPV success story (link to the HPV case study)
Learn about our other mHealth solutions (link to the mHealth page)