Objective="To improve the quality of healthcare services by providing a state-of-the-art reporting system using e-connectivity."
Details for Reform Option "Health Management Information System, Kerala"
Kerala is widely regarded as a model state within India because of its high achievements in the field of health and family welfare at low cost. However despite its relatively low infant mortality rate and high life expectancy, recent studies have found that the cost of health care is increasing while the quality and quantity provided through the public sector is decreasing.
As a result the Government of Kerala decided to set up a state-of-the-art Health Information Management System (HIMS) in order to monitor the effectiveness and performance of the health care system using e-connectivity and to provide a more meaningful, time-efficient reporting system from grass-roots level up.
In November 2003, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Trivandrum, was engaged by the Sector Reform Cell of the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) to prepare a master plan for setting up a HMIS in Kerala.
Accordingly, CDAC conducted a year-long study of the information requirements and the existing reporting system. To do this, the CDAC project team interviewed officers from DHS, District Medical Offices (DMOs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
It produced a report of the findings, inferences and conclusions of the team, with recommendations for maximising the effectiveness of the HMIS.
The report recommended:
i) Hosting the Administrative applications and Health Services Data Collection & reporting module centrally in one server for remote access. All software developed for this project will be loaded onto the central server and PHCs and other healthcare institutions will enter data and send it to the central server via the internet. If a computer is not available at the PHC, the data is to be sent to the DMO who will then enter it on their behalf.
ii) Computerisation of 14 DMOs of the DHS. Data which is currently entered by hand onto a paper report will now be entered by browser-based data entry. DMOs will be given training under phase 2 of the project. There is no provision for additional staff.
iii) Networking of DMO Offices to DHS. The two have already been connected by the internet under the RCH programme.
iv) Development of Software.
See References for the full masterplan. The project is not yet up and running but is in Phase 2 (implementation). This entry will be updated once the HMIS is in place.
Phase 1: One year.
Phase 2: Expected to take one year.
Time efficient: A centralised system with online access across the state will enable quick collection and dissemination of information.
Improved planning: Up-to-date information will enable more informed decision making.
A review of the existing computerisation and reporting system across the state.
Who needs to be consulted
Director of Health Services.
Additional Director of Health Services (Planning).
The central server will be maintained by the state government.
There is also an additional budget provision from the Government of Kerala of INR 25 lakh to the Directorate of Health Services (2005-06) but this budget is expected to vary from year to year.
Chances of Replication
Good if the funding and political will is there. CDAC is willing to share the software – cost to be negotiated.
Dr K Sandeep, Technical Secretary, Sector Reform Cell,
Directorate of Health Services, Kerala. March 2006.