Technology Intervention: A step towards developing mobile-based Decision Support tool for Community health officers in Madhya Pradesh
The National Health Policy, 2017 recommended strengthening the delivery of primary health care, through establishment of "Health and Wellness Centers" as the platform to deliver comprehensive primary health care. The Govt. of India with its commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ has launch the Ayushman Barat- Health and Wellness centers, an attempt to move from sectorial and segmented approach of health services delivery to a comprehensive need based health care services.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) envisions upgrading 1, 50,000 Sub-Centers (SCs), existing Primary Health Centers (PHCs), and Urban PHCs across the country to HWCs in a phased manner by December 2022. Under this arm of Ayushman Bharat, a Community Health Officer (CHO) positioned at HWCs and expected to provide specific services, leadership, supervision, management and take pro-active role in all community level activities along with organizing various health programs and activities related to health promotion.
The state of Madhya Pradesh has more than 3900 functional HWCs and state has set a target of operationalizing more than 11,000 HWCs by December 2022. The CHOs posted at HWCs are trained using a standardized curriculum over a period of six months to deliver quality services in twelve defined service areas. The challenge though, emerging on the horizon, is largely the other facet of this effort- the ability of this new cadre to effectively deliver quality services at the community level. With majority of the CHOs being new in their roles, carry minimal experience of the public health system: this at times can be overwhelming. Looking at this potential occasions and interfere with their ability in taking timely decisions, effectively manage of cases, and delivery of quality services an Interface with digital decision support tool is proposed for effective and timely delivery of services.
Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) and Government of Madhya Pradesh has agreed to develop a Decision Support System for Community Health Officers (CHOs). Digital tool will ease the complex decision making system into a simple symptom and signs based classification. This will drive CHOs from presenting symptoms of OPD patient to systemic assessment, possible classification /diagnosis and suggestive treatment as well as follow up.
NIPI as a technical partner is developing decision support tool for community health officers. The government of Madhya Pradesh will further integrate it with the digital platform for health care services delivery under digital health mission. In a series of this a technical brainstorming and road map development workshop was conducted with the technology partners Khushi baby at Jaipur Rajasthan. A road map for tool development was prepared. It was decided to launch the demo app by end of April 2021.