From Users to Champions: Transforming Healthcare Professionals into DHIS2 Customization Experts

This abstract has been accepted at the 2024 DHIS2 Annual Conference

From Users to Champions: Transforming Healthcare Professionals into DHIS2 Customization Experts

Overview & Problem Statement Health Information Systems (HIS) play a pivotal role in effective healthcare management, providing valuable insights for decision-making and policy formulation. DHIS is a sole nationally recognized reporting channel and source of data for the health sector. The system is customized, lead and regularly updated by Ministry of Health (MoH). When issues arise regarding DHIS2 functionality, it usually took weeks to months to fix a problem because there was only limited man power that have the ability to customize and fix all DHIS related problems, only at national level-by MoH. This low response time and frequent errors discouraged the health sector leaders relying on DHIS2 for decisions as source of data despite being the only channel of reporting. Thus, the local capacity of HIS experts was significantly boosted through capacity-building training focused on the customization of the District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2). Intervention: DHIS2 capacity building - extra hand on HIS The training initiative aimed to empower HIS experts in Addis Ababa with the skills required to give swift response to issues raised from health facilities regarding DHIS2 functionality. The training covered various aspects, including data set assignment, validation, system architecture, data modeling, and user interface customization. Participants engaged in hands-on exercises, enabling them to customize DHIS2 to the specific needs and challenges faced by the local health system. Outcome Armed with a deeper understanding of DHIS2 customization, the experts demonstrated enhanced proficiency in addressing system-related challenges encountered in their daily tasks. This newfound competence translated into more efficient troubleshooting, reduced downtime, and improved overall system performance. In addition, it improves the response time to solve issues. Furthermore, the customization training facilitated context-specific improvements to DHIS2 that satisfied the data demands of leaders in Addis Ababa. These adjustments addressed unique reporting requirements, accommodated local data collection nuances, and aligned the platform with the specific needs of healthcare practitioners and leaders in the region. Moreover, by using their customization skill, the regional HIS experts developed a logistics and Inventory management system and a data quality assurance tool for HIV/AIDS program. A single but most valuable DHIS2 capacity building training has created a strengthened reporting mechanisms that enabled more accurate and timely data collection, fostering evidence-based decision-making. This emphasizes the importance of targeted capacity-building initiatives in optimizing the functionality and impact of Health Information Systems in diverse settings.

Primary Author: Tsegaye Shewangzaw

DHIS2, Customization, Capacity building, optimization,