The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has offered technical assistance to the Bahamas’ Ministry of Health to identify the data management needs of the health care system and to make recommendations for electronic data management in the Blue Hill Road and Fleming Street Clinics of New Providence. Both clinics are incorporated in the Over the Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative, an initiative PAHO has partnered with the Office of the Prime Minister, to address socioeconomic and environmental challenges that impact health. The lessons learned from the experiences in these clinics can be transferred to other Clinics within the country, particularly in Abaco and Grand Bahamas, the two islands impacted by hurricane Dorian.
PAHO recommends the Information Systems for Health (IS4H) to strengthen the data management of primary care facilities to develop recommendations and a road map of activities. The Is4H framework identities critical success factors required to support any information system platforms and ensures that plans include activities and investments to strengthen hose success factors. The three-day PAHO mission led by Dr. Daniel Doane. PAHO, Washington commenced with a meeting with Dr. Duane Sands, Minister of Health; Mr. Marco Rolle, Permanent Secretary; Dr. Pearl McMillan, Chief Medical Officer; information technology and other program leaders within the Ministry of Health; representatives from the Public Hospitals Authority, and National Health Insurance Authority. In this dialog space, challenges with manual data collection, and current methodologies data analysis and information sharing we discussed. The lack of human capital for data management, limited technological capacities, and resistance to an automated process for recording patient information in an electronic and integrates system within the health sector with the potential to expand to other government sectors.
PAHO/WHO defines IS4H as the concept of ‘Information Systems for Health including an integrated system of policies, legislation’ human, financial, governance, human, financial and information technology resources, health indicators, data sources, data management processes, information products, and the effective dissemination and use of information. Its strategic goals are to drive and enable effective data management and information technologies, management and governance, innovation and performance, and knowledge management and sharing.
Site visits have been conducted at the two clinics and at the conclusion of the three-day mission, recommendations and a concrete action plan to implement the IS4H pilot will be proposed to the Ministry of Health. Upon successful completion on the pilot, IS4H will be deployed to all national primary health centres.