mHealth Platforms - Operational Research to optimize approaches to improve data flow and accounting
Determine the best data-capture system and implementation model to overcome data flow challenges faced by national MDA programs. Test and compare the effectiveness of 4 different data-tracking platforms currently in use (or development) in NTD endemic countries: 1) Build on existing national capacity, 2) Cloud-based SMS system, 3) Robo-call platform.
Preliminary study findings:
o The current process for tracking treatment information through paper-based forms can be complicated and leaves room for human error, as multiple aggregations of data must be collected manually between administrative levels before reaching the national level.
o This study found that the process of collecting and reporting paper records on the stock and delivery of ivermectin, albendazole and Praziquantel took between two and three months.
o The study found that robo-call surveys have the potential to add a new stream of information on drug stock between national supervisors and sub-district implementation teams, allowing program staff to take corrective actions in response to issues with drug supply.
o The proactive timing of the calls as well as the interactive component of responding to verbal questions through the phone makes this system useful to supervisors.
o Robo-calls were found to be helpful to monitor drug levels prior to MDA at sub-district level and to ensure appropriate quantities of drug stock were reaching lower administrative level, but as post-MDA drug stock is returned to the district level, physical observation of district-level storerooms was the most effective way to assess drug quantities post-MDA.
o SMS reporting made data accessible at the national level and to administrative units in real time.
o Less than half of the registered supervisors submitted SMS reports, resulting in a significant difference in the number and type of treatments reported when compared to paper forms.
o Greater training and ongoing management is needed to take full advantage of the speed and data accuracy improvements from robo-call and SMS surveys.