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Using electronic tablets for data collection for healthcare service and maternal health assessments in low resource settings: lessons learnt

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Dickinson, Fiona ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5298-9127, McCauley, Mary ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1446-0625, Madaj, Barbara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4073-3191 and van den Broek, Nynke ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8523-2684 (2019) 'Using electronic tablets for data collection for healthcare service and maternal health assessments in low resource settings: lessons learnt'. BMC Health Services Research, Vol 196, p. 336.

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Abstract

Background: Health service and health outcome data collection across many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is, to date largely paper-based. With the development and increased availability of reliable technology, electronic tablets could be used for electronic data collection in such settings. This paper describes our experiences with implementing electronic data collection methods, using electronic tablets, across different settings in four LMICs.
Methods: Within our research centre, the use of electronic data collection using electronic tablets was piloted during a healthcare facility assessment study in Ghana. After further development, we then used electronic data collection in a multi-country, cross-sectional study to measure ill-health in women during and
after pregnancy, in India, Kenya and Pakistan. All data was transferred electronically to a central research team in the UK where it was processed, cleaned, analysed and stored.
Results: The healthcare facility assessment study in Ghana demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability to healthcare providers of using electronic tablets to collect data from seven healthcare facilities. In the maternal morbidity study, electronic data collection proved to be an effective way for healthcare providers to
document over 400 maternal health variables, in 8530 women during and after pregnancy in India, Kenya and Pakistan.
Conclusions: Electronic data collection provides an effective platform which can be used successfully to collect data from healthcare facility registers and from patients during health consultations; and to transfer large quantities of data. To ensure successful electronic data collection and transfer between settings, we recommend that close attention is paid to study design, data collection, tool design, local internet access and device security.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 83 Telemedicine (General)
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WQ Obstetrics > Childbirth. Prenatal Care > WQ 175 Prenatal care
WQ Obstetrics > WQ 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4161-7
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 10:31
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 10:31
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/11065

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