A common challenge faced by many countries – and one that presents major obstacles to evidence-based strengthening of primary health care systems – is the current state of data and data systems for health. Although countries often report that they are “ drowning” in data, the institutional structures, incentives, and workforce capabilities to enable the actual use of data for performance improvement are lacking. Gaps in data collection and quality, and the fragmentation of platforms for collecting data, inhibits countries’ abilities to gain a complete picture of current system performance. Of those data that are collected, a lack of routine feedback mechanisms hinders the ability of system managers to take informed action for improvement at community, facility, and policy levels. In short, health system managers need - but don’t often have - the right data at the right time to inform decisions.
A Collaborative Approach to Performance Measurement and Improvement
In order to address these challenges, PHCPI is partnering with the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) to launch a new collaborative on Primary Health Care Performance Measurement and Improvement (PMI). The JLN connects practitioners and policymakers through an innovative approach for the co-development of global knowledge products that bridge the gap between theory and the practical “ how to” of implementing reforms to achieve UHC. Through this unique and very practical collaborative model for joint problem solving, including multilateral workshops, country learning exchanges, and virtual dialogue, the JLN brings complementary strengths to PHCPI that will allow members of this collaborative to build on real experience to test and produce new knowledge and tools for PHC performance measurement and improvement.
The ultimate goal of the PMI Collaborative is to ensure that health system managers have the right data at the right time to inform decision-making and progress towards high-quality, people-centered primary health care. To do this, the Collaborative will work with countries to identify common bottlenecks and explore strategies to ensure that there are effective data feedback loops that transform data into actionable knowledge. The Collaborative will consider not only facility-level improvement, but will strive to support a national-level process that links, incentivizes, and promotes use of data at all levels of the system. This will require addressing challenges related to the measurement system, the capacity and use of data for decision-making, and the design, monitoring and dissemination of improvement strategies.
This work will build on the PHCPI conceptual framework, PHCPI Vital Signs and Diagnostic indicators, and relevant tools developed by the JLN including the JLN UHC-PHC Self-Assessment Tool and the JLN Tool Kit for Improving Data Analytics for Provider Payment Monitoring.
The PHC PMI Collaborative will use a combination of small, technical in-person meetings and an online members’ platform to collectively work on products that support performance measurement and improvement.