Achieving UHC and Scaling Digital Tools are Interconnected. Here’s Why.

By Cristina Lussiana, Deputy Director, Digital Health, PSI Global

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is dependent on the availability of skilled health workers, but the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a projected shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, mostly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Implementing digital health interventions at scale builds capacity among healthcare workers and supports countries to advance toward UHC. As we’ve seen across the 40+ countries in which PSI works, digital solutions at scale improve quality of care, makes health worker stewardship more cost effective for governments, and supports health systems to integrate solutions into existing digital ecosystems.

Here’s how.

1. Scaling Health Network Quality Improvement System (HNQIS) to Improve Quality of Care

HNQIS offers a streamlined way to build health workforce capacity, based on customized quality of care objectives, by assessing providers knowledge and skills and monitoring provider quality of care targets at scale for quality improvements. PSI introduced and scaled up a DHIS2-based supportive supervision tool called HNQIS, now used in over 20 countries.

Using this tool, Ministries of Health and implementing partners can identify gaps in providers’ knowledge and skills, monitor action plans, and evaluate progress. This tool is user-friendly and can be set up and implemented by health systems and local governments to support an effective health workforce at scale.

2. Scaling e-Learning Platforms for Health Worker Stewardship

PSI, supported by PMI, launched a Moodle-based e-Learning platform called Kassai, that has been implemented at scale to support stewardship of a health workforce. Kassai supports remote capacity building activities, based on customizable learning objectives, with over 6,000 public health providers in Angola to improve and maintain a well-informed health workforce in several health areas, via remote or blended learning approaches, and monitoring health providers’ progress.

Building on the success of the Kassai platform in Angola, PSI expanded Kassai to more than 10 other countries and enhanced the user experience by integrating a WhatsApp chatbot to expand access to health information and resources.

Through the implementation of Kassai PSI has learned that interoperability (or the ability for different digital health solutions to exchange data) is required for digital intervention success. Many PSI digital interventions are Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) compliant. FHIR is a coding standard that allows for interoperability between digital interventions within a country’s digital landscape that are rooted in FHIR.

3. Scaling Learning and Performance Management (LPM) Ecosystems

The integration of DHIS2 and Moodle makes it easier for governments to meet LPM goals within existing digital landscapes. Provider and client data from multiple sources can be integrated and transferred to local health management information systems (HMIS) from DHIS2. Integrated LPM ecosystem supports Ministries of Health in targeting and planning solutions that lead to stronger health systems.

Will you join the work? Email [email protected]

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