Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS)
Country of Operation
- University of the Philippines Manila - National Telehealth CenterNot-for-profit
SummaryThe Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS) is a low cost computerization initiative for local health centers that aims to automate the core processes in the health center and contribute to effective and efficient delivery of services.
With the volumes of data being collected in a typical rural health unit (RHU), it has always been a challenge to consolidate this information into a cohesive and relevant whole. Traditionally, patient-level information has been manually recorded on paper, a process that is not only time consuming, but also error prone. Accessing and consolidating information in this manner is labor intensive and the data can often be outdated or incorrect.
Key program components
With CHITS, patient care has improved and patient visits are more efficient, having reduced the four to five minutes needed to search paper records to just seconds. The ability to easily view, record, and share patient information across the multiple computers within a health clinic means that health workers are able to complete patient consultations earlier in the day in order to provide more support to community health workers.
Vertical health care programs of the Department of Health (DOH) which disintegrates into the health centers and managed by a public health nurse or midwife are now integrated by CHITS enabling data consolidation, report generation, and planning possible at any given time. CHITS features an appointment and scheduling system which projects how many patients,medicines, supplies or staff members will be needed for the day. Clinical-level information provides maintaining the appropriate amount of life-saving drug supplies and identifying human resource needs. Patients, especially those enrolled in the Maternal Health Care, Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) or the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP), who have not been reporting on their scheduled appointments or taking the prescribed course therapy (i.e. TB drugs) can be monitored. The system also allows community health workers to send SMS messages to report injuries and receive training on health surveillance via their mobile phones. The CHITS open source community believes they should teach local health workers “how to use the information system, [and] allow them to gain insight into their condition so that they can decide to take action and be proactive in empowering others to do the same.” Like many mHealth projects, CHITS had found that empowering local communities with information and enabling two-way data flows is an effective strategy. Over the past 7 years, CHITS has been deployed in 50 rural health units (as of June 2011) in the Philippines. Local government units (LGUs) and their respective local chief executives (i.e. governor and/or mayor) have contacted the UP Manila – NThC for deployment and installation of CHITS in their respective locality. The LCEs have seen the importance of sustaining the project by initially institutionalizing appropriation for its sustainability through local ordinances and legislation. These are needed for the maintenance of hardware and updating the new modules of CHITS.
Benefits of CHITS: • Faster patient record retrieval. • Patient spent waiting for services are minimized. • Streamline work-flow of health center transactions. • More efficient data entry and storage. • Appointment and follow-up scheduling system. • Monitor the health of the community through data accrual daily. • Projection of patient loads • Secure access to health care workers (including audit trail) • Easier and timely generation of health reports that the DOH's Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS) requires