Health Records & Information Management Curriculum Reviewed

Prof. Karanja leads participants in the review discussions during the workshop

A three-day workshop to review JKUAT’s BSc. Health Records and Information Management programme curriculum, came to a close on Friday October 13, 2017. The review which aimed at identifying industry needs with regards to data analytics and informatics also proposed innovative content delivery measures to be integrated into the programme.

Stakeholders in the event also developed modular courses in Data Analytics, GIS, Data Demand and Information Use (DDIU) and Health Informatics, to build capacity of healthcare workers on data analytics and visualization.

The review was sponsored by Health Informatics Governance and Data Analytics (HIGDA), a USAID funded project that aims to improve the national and county level health sectors’ organizational and management capacity in health informatics, monitoring and evaluation.

HIGDA Programme Coordinator, Dr. Reuben Thuo said a number of healthcare workers such as doctors, clinicians, and pharmacists were not trained on data and information management.

Dr. Thuo (right) and Ms. Nzyoka follow proceedings during the workshop

Dr. Thuo who is also the Dean, School of Medicine, added that the curriculum review and development of modular courses, were meant to equip students and practitioners with skills and competencies in health data management, analysis and visualization.

Poor data and information management remains an impediment to effective provision of health services in the country; calling for targeted intervention not only in training and research but also in adoption of best ICT solutions.

Following devolution of health services in Kenya, counties are struggling with collation, processing, analysis and visualization of health data; all of which work to undermine knowledge-driven decision making, and resource allocation.

In Nairobi City County, for instance, up to 79% of the of the 4.6 million residents seek services in private health facilities; yet the facilities do not have adequate data collection and sharing tools and systems.

HIGDA Chief of Party, Rose Nzyoka said the initiative was also supporting establishment of a Digital Health Applied Research Centre at JKUAT; a facility that will foster development, testing and certification of mobile applications for health solutions.

According to HIGDA Capacity Development Manager, Prof. Simon Karanja, quality data analysis and visualization enables faster and effective decision making across the health value-chain.

JKUAT rolled out the BSc. Health Records and Information Management course in September 2013, with the pioneering group of 15 students slated to graduate in November 2017.

The five-year HIGDA project is jointly implemented by Palladium Group, JKUAT, and PATH International and runs through 2021.

The initiative is also slated to undertake sensitization and gaps assessments in 20 counties including Nakuru, Migori, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kwale, Homabay, Busia, Kisii and Kilifi.

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