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Publication Detail
SDRC TR 1993-01: Data Collection and Recording System: The Case of the Health Centers in the National Capital Region

The general objective of this study was to examine the experiences in health centers in the National Capital Region (NCR) concerning data collection and recording processes inherent in the Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) of the Department of Health (DOH). A sample of 116 health centers were obtained from Manila, Quezon City, Kalookan City, Pasay City, District 1 (Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela), District 2 (Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, and Taguig), District 3 (Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan), and District 4 (Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, and Paranaque). A total of 441 health center personnel participated in the study. Three data collection methods were used: Face-to-face structured interviews, direct observation, and the use of secondary data. Results: The data collection and recording processes, as essential components of the FHSIS, have been institutionalized. Although organizational arrangements and procedures suitable to the implementation of the information system are established, there are still deviations between what is prescribed in the FHSIS manual and what is actually happening at the health centers with respect to data collection and recording system. These deviations bring about problems for the health workers, who collect and record the information. The deviations may be explained in terms of the following factors: inadequacy of the training received by the health workers; lack of ready supplies of the forms and health care commodities; the number of patients; the many types of FHSIS forms and data required per form; and factors related to beneficiaries of the health centers. Several factors affect the smooth and continuous implementation of the FHSIS program. These are: The operating principle governing the end-users of FHSIS information; deviations in the procedure; the distance between the personnel's residence and place of work; the mismatch of expectations as to who should collect and record data; and devolution of public health care services to the local government. The field personnel perceive data collection and information recording as part of their tasks and functions. Also, data suggests that in general they have manifested favorable responses and dispositions to the systems and its processes. Several factors are related to the dispositions: hazy procedures in the system; logistics; educational attainment of personnel, position, travel time, residence, location of health facility, and level of involvement in the tasks. Recommendations: For smooth implementation of the FHSIS program, there should be adequate supplies and materials. The multiple tasks of midwives and staff should be re-examined for possible streamlining. A control mechanism in the data collection and recording system must be established as part of the FHSIS system processes to ensure reliability of the data. More training is needed to facilitate the acquisition of skills in data collection, handling, and recording. The assistance provided by the student interns and youth volunteers must be institutionalized and harnessed. There should be a concerted effort on the part of health personnel to convince local officials about the importance of an information system in the program operations. Given the findings of the study and the devolution of health care services to local government, it appears fitting and relevant for the national and for the current regional health supervisors to improve the existing information system and to make it more useful and effective for the health service personnel.

DLSU-Social Development Research Center
Authors Keywords
Lamberte, Exaltacion E.; health management;
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