Digital Patient Feedback Boosts Uganda Health Clinic Service

cialis 40mg geneva;”>viagra 60mg sans-serif;”>IKEA will provide the blankets to children ranging from three -15 years old living in refugee camps in southern Uganda.

According to UNICEF, the conflict ongoing in Uganda’s neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo has escalated and an estimated 2.6 million people are currently displaced. “This situation is expected to impact more than 60 percent of children,” it states.

UNICEF revealed on May 7 that responding to the urgent call for supplies, its longstanding partner IKEA Foundation donated 110,000 baby blankets to some of the world’s most vulnerable children affected by conflict.

These blankets go to children living in refugee camps in Jordan and Uganda and infants visiting hospitals and health centers in Syria.

The foundation will ship the IKEA blankets to the destination countries where UNICEF will handle distribution.

“In Jordan, 35,000 IKEA baby blankets will be distributed to Syrian refugee children ages two and under arriving in camps in Northern Jordan,” states UNICEF, adds, “It is still very cold at night in the desert, even during summer, and the blankets will help keep the youngest children and infants warm.”

Meanwhile in Syria, 50,000 blankets will be used for newborn babies and infants when they visit health centers and hospitals across five cities including Homs and Aleppo.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education,emergency relief and more.

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.

It works toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

cialis 40mg geneva;”>According to a research carried out by People ICT Development (IICD), page the goal of this approach is to use the patient feedback that comes from the questionnaires to improve the service in health facilities.

This is part of a larger project of IICD, Akvo, Text to Change, Cordaid and local partner The Diocese of Jinja to contribute to timely, complete and accurate management of health information and to strengthen performance based financing through the use of computers and other information and communication technology (ICT).

The mobile app was developed by IICD’s Connect4Change consortium partner organisation Akvo. The app ‘Akvo Flow’ was originally designed for water related development projects but is now also be used for gathering other data.

In addition to using pen and paper and the mobile app, Connect4Change-partner Text to Change introduced a call centre approach where volunteers call patients after a few days after they have visited the health facility to ask them the same questions over the phone.

IICD, Cordaid (IICD’s main health partner in the Connect4Change consortium), Akvo, Text to Change and the Diocese have tested these three tools to take an informed decision on the way to collect and process patient satisfaction data.

In the test phase, it was also assessed whether the moment and location of interviews with patients as well as the background of the person who collects the data influences the outcomes of the satisfaction survey. The data collection tools were also compared in terms of user-friendliness, reliability, sustainability and (cost) efficiency.

The diocese of Jinja already has much experience with collecting patient satisfaction data, but patients were often questioned while still being in the hospital. This could lead to patients not feeling safe to tell the truth. The new method only yields some minor changes in results.

Dorcus Atieno of the Jinja Diocese noted: “Before using the new system, about 80 percent of our patients were satisfied, this is now about 65 to 70 percent.”

“And although this seems a little strange to be positive about less happy patients, this is probably closer to how patients actually feel,” she added.

This is because the answers to questions about waiting time and whether a patient received sufficient information about a disease differ slightly when a patient is interviewed in their homes.

This might be related to the location of the interview, but more probably to the fact that there is some time between the interview and the actual visit to the health center.

There is also an indication that patients may be hesitant to complain about health staff members, when they are being questioned at a health clinic. When they are interviewed at home, patients feel honored that someone takes the effort to visit them at home and may feel more free to speak out.

Cleofas Mbulishe, a health worker revealed that with the questionnaires being done with mobile phones and sent straight to the computers of hospitals and health clinics, there is also a lesser chance that surveys will get lost.

“This is also shown in preliminary results that show that both interviewers and data users found it easier and quicker to work with data on a mobile phone rather than entering data by hand,” he added.

Pros and cons of different survey tools

Data reliability is an issue for all tools. The mobile phone survey has two functions to enhance reliability of the data collection. Because the mobile phone surveys are geo-tagged, it means that it can be easily identified where the survey was done.

This allows to cross-check the data and to see where the patients who responded come from. In this way it could also be observed for example that representation of male clients and clients that live far from the health facility is not optimal.

The mobile survey tool asks for considerable investments in comparison to the other tools, because smart phones have to be purchased and data collectors have to be trained. On the other hand, when the smart phones are now bought and data collectors are trained, scaling up to other facilities can be organized without high additional investments.

The phones can also be used for multiple purposes as Voluntary Health Teams also need up-to-date information about for example maternal health for which many apps are available for learning purposes.

The use of the mobile phone tool might enhance sustainability of the client satisfaction surveys. On the longer term the tool can take away some of the workload involved in data entry and data analysis

Compensation per survey

After interviewing the woman about her experience in the health clinic, Cleofas visits another former patient. A little child of about half a year old. The father of the child answers the questions of the health worker, who enters them into his phone easily.

After the interview, Mbulishe explains that the health workers that conduct the surveys receive a small financial compensation for each patient that they ask questions to. Although he says he gladly does the work for free (Mbulishe and his colleagues are volunteers), it means that he can dedicate more time to the patient questionnaires and less time to his current job as a groundnut vendor.

In the coming months, IICD, Cordaid, Akvo, UCMB and the Diocese of Jinja will expand the smart phone solution for collecting patient satisfaction data to more districts and health facilities.

A good technical support structure will be set up to support this. As a result of the pilot and with the support of IICD and Akvo, the Jinja Diocese now plans to also develop mobile-phone based surveys for other data collection purposes.


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