Background: We went to Trivandrum, India to do research on Health Information Systems, HIS. HIS is important in order for leaders to make informed decisions, both at local and national level.
Objectives: The questions upon which we based our work were: why is a health information system important, what kind of challenges is there, how is the local health care system, how are data elements converted into meaningful information, and what do health workers think of data collection in Trivandrum?
Material and methods: We used qualitative method with structured interviews and observations. The field study was to take part of general health care work. We read articles on HIS, which we used in an overview. We compared theory to practice.
Results: We learned that health care workers find registration and reporting to be very important, both to know their population and because it is a demand from the government. They like computers, and have received training by local HIS workers. A major challenge is to make health care professionals focus more on why HIS is important, not just how to report. Conclusion: Motivation towards the importance of data collection needs to be strengthened. There should be more focus on why data collection is important, not only how to do it. The local health care workers need ownership towards their health data in order to improve local management. Feedback from national level and state level to more peripheral levels has to be improved. The data-flow should be more action –, than data-driven.