From markers and whiteboards to fully automated health management systems Apr 12, 2016

From markers and whiteboards to fully automated health management systems

Thirty-five members of the Collaborative on Data Analytics for Monitoring Provider Payment got into the creative spirit last month when tasked with finding solutions to make better use of data analytics to monitor the effects of the health provider payment systems.

The workshop—the third in-person meeting of the collaborative—took place in Accra, Ghana and focused on improving data quality and generating useful data visualization and monitoring output. In the spirit of collaboration, participants shared their challenges and creative solutions, to build consensus on lessons learned and best practices, including:

  1. Process, process, process: The process should be transparent, participatory, and should involve providers at all stages;
  2. Indicators for monitoring provider payment systems only show part of the story (e.g. they tell us “what” is happening, but not “how” or “why” it is happening), so it is necessary to dive deeper and do more analysis;
  3. Monitoring systems can generate data and interest to improve the payment system, which can in turn lead to improving monitoring systems;
  4. When producing data visualization and monitoring output, end-users (e.g. policymakers, technical experts, providers, etc.) should be involved from the very start;
  5. From data analytics to action: Countries must apply the data analytics they have to inform both provider and system-level actions (not just one or the other).
  6. Be transparent—don’t focus energy on making systems complicated to outsmart providers--spend time on monitoring.

Prior to the recent Ghana workshop, the collaborative met twice in 2015—first in Hanoi, Vietnam (January 2015) and again in Manila, Philippines (July 2015). The first two meetings focused on agreeing on a common framework and the first steps of that framework as well as selecting indicators for monitoring provider payment systems and generating the necessary data. Click here to view the Framework.

For one JLN member from Ghana, the collaborative has been nothing but practical and encouraging.

"This has been one of the most useful and practical JLN collaboratives I have been involved with. I can see that every country is actually going to do something after this and not just talk." – PPM-IT Collaborative member from Ghana.

Biometric Registrations and Monitoring: The NHIS in Action

The Collaborative had the opportunity to learn more about Ghana’s efforts to improve data analytics capacity through organized site visits to the La Scheme District Office of the National Health Insurance Authority and the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Health Directorate where they observed Ghana’s biometric registration and enrollment for the National Health Insurance Scheme and the District Health Information Management Systems (DHIMS).

The participants conveyed that they were impressed by the efforts at all levels of the health system in Ghana to make better use of data and to generate powerful data visualizations using whatever technology is available, whether pen and paper, whiteboards, or fully automated systems.

Moving Forward with Data Analytics Toolkit

With support from the Provider Payment and Information Technology technical facilitation teams, members of the collaborative will apply their observations to-date towards finalizing content for a Data Analytics Toolkit, which will include step-by-step guidance on identifying questions, selecting indicators, and exploring how data should be captured for monitoring provider payment systems The toolkit is targeted to be completed by the summer of 2016 and launched in early fall.