HEALTH SYSTEM ISSUES INFLUENCING HEALTH INFORMATION UTILIZATION FOR DECISION MAKING IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN NANDI COUNTY, KENYA

Ezekiel Kiptarbei Kisorio, George Otieno, Kenneth Rucha

Abstract


The purpose of health information system is to provide timely, reliable and accessible quality health information for evidence based decision making to promote the health of the nation. Following the new constitution of 2010, health function was devolved to county level where most decisions pertaining to health are carried out by health managers. Studies have shown utilization of health information to make decisions to be very low. The objective of this study therefore, was to examine health system issues that influence utilization of health information for decision making health facilities in Nandi County. The study adopted a descriptive research design in which desired data was collected from healthcare providers based on cross section. The sample frame was all health staff who generate health data and the managers of health services at various levels with experience of six months and above. The sample population was 179 health workers at various levels of management in the service delivery. The study sample size of 163 was selected through stratified, simple random and systematic methods.  The data collection methods were questionnaires, interview schedules and focused group discussion guides. The data collection was done using research assistants who were trained by the researcher. Data analysis was done using the relevant software packages including SPSS (ver 23) as main software and Microsoft Excel among others. The response rate was 92%. The study results revealed that 44.4% indicated that they always use the data in the day-to-day running of the health facility programs, 66.7% discussed and recorded the minutes on management of routine data like quality, reporting or timeliness, 63.3% indicated that they have received continuous professional training on data  utilization and data management, planning and computer software. Major difficulty experienced in the use of computers was inadequate computers (40%), other problems evident are lack of access to computers (26.7%) and inadequate training in the use of computers (53.5%). The study concludes that there was routine health information for decision making with majority using it in planning, monitoring and evaluation and supply and drug management. The study recommends that the Ministry of Health should apply appropriate and effective strategies that will promote the consistent health information use for decision making at all levels of management. 


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