The complexities and possibilities of health data utilization in the West Coast District
Zimri, Irma Selina
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In an ideal public health arena, scientific evidence should be incorporated in the health information practices of making management decisions, developing policies, and implementing programs. However, much effort has been spent in developing health information practices focusing mainly on data collection, data quality and processing, with relatively little development on the utilization side of the information spectrum. Although the South Africa Health National Indicator Dataset of 2013 routinely collects and reports on more than two hundred elements, the degree to which this information is being used is not empirically known. The overall aim of the study was to explore the dynamics of routine primary healthcare information utilization in the West Coast district while identifying specific interventions that could ultimately lead to the improved use of data to better inform decision making. The ultimate goal being to enable managers to better utilize their routine health information for effective decision making.