Collaborative Efforts Between TCI Philippines and Iligan City Enhance Commitment to Data Quality Management

Apr 22, 2024

Contributed by: Pearl Joy Catingub and Reynelle Cariño-Eres

Collaborative Efforts Between TCI Philippines and Iligan City Enhance Commitment to Data Quality Management

Apr 22, 2024

Contributed by: Pearl Joy Catingub and Reynelle Cariño-Eres

Group photo of Iligan City’s health service providers who participated in the orientation.

In Iligan City, Philippines, ensuring high-quality healthcare services has always been a priority. However, prior to collaborating with The Challenge Initiative (TCI), numerous structural issues hindered progress in family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH). These challenges include outdated data systems, inadequate training for healthcare providers, and understaffed health centers. These obstacles also affected the quality of data management at the health center level, where issues such as insufficient training, lack of necessary forms and tools, and understaffing were prevalent. As a result, many health centers face difficulties in providing the expected level of quality services, thereby compromising overall healthcare provision.

According to Rhona P. Sumugat, the Family Planning and Newborn Screening Coordinator for the Iligan City Health Office:

 Wrong entry of information at the health center level resulted in wrong data reporting and misinterpretation – this first re-orientation, first after 15 years, ensures that from the health center level, data are properly and accurately recorded for effective and efficient reporting.”

To address these challenges and improve local family planning and AYSRH interventions, Iligan City engaged with TCI in July 2023. This partnership – which includes the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), the Department of Health (DOH) Center for Health and Development Northern Mindanao, and other agencies – has been instrumental to the city’s efforts.

One result of this collaboration was a comprehensive re-orientation to enhance the skills of health center nurses and midwives in family planning and Adolescent Health Development Program (AHDP) Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) indicators in the city. The aim is to enable health service providers to collect and maintain quality data independently, ensuring accurate reporting at all levels.

Participants discussed key challenges that require the urgent attention of the Local Government Unit, partner agencies, and organizations. Their recommendations included transitioning to digital data management, supporting barangay (village) health workers, hiring additional skilled providers, and enhancing professional capacity development among these healthcare professionals. The conversation also emphasized the importance of ensuring accuracy, completeness, and timeliness in information management and reporting as the criteria for defining quality data.

Fe C. Sumagpao, the Family Planning and AHDP Coordinator in the DOH-Center for Health Development-Northern Mindanao, discussed the wide-reaching implications:

 Data are important because they are used for policymaking, informed decision-making based on evidence and fact, and monitoring and evaluation of the services being rendered by the health providers.”

Local health service providers expressed gratitude for the re-orientation, acknowledging its impact on their data management skills. Julia M. Maghanoy, a midwife from Tubod-B in Iligan City shared:

 This orientation is a “first-time” after 2016. It is challenging, but the learnings we have set a straight direction on how we will do our tasks in the health center, especially in data entry and quality checking. I am happy to learn all these new skills. Confusion and doubt in filling out the forms are now gone.”

Through these collaborations, Iligan City works to improve the public health system, focusing on family planning and AYSRH. Shared accountability ensures everyone works toward common goals, making Iligan City more responsive to the health needs of its population and poised to make a long-standing impact across the region.

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