Philippines’s Family Planning Health Information System: From the Implementers’ Lens
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RTI, Philippines
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A638
Availability of quality and timely data is crucial to effective health program management. In the case of the Philippines’s national health information system, Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS), anecdotes abound on challenges to its implementation. However, there’s been no purposive documentation of its nature from the users’ perspective.

To build data on this, the study conducted interviews, partnered with records review, with select public health facilities, provincial and city health offices, and regional and national Department of Health (DOH). Topics discussed focused on Family Planning (FP) since availability of quality FP data is paramount to addressing increasing unmet need for FP and teenage pregnancies and for appropriate resource allocation given the upcoming devolution of procurement of select FP logistics to Local Government Units (LGUs).

Results showed that despite the strain COVID-19 put on the limited health workforce, compliance to recording and reporting processes were maintained although problems on timeliness were aggravated. Integration of hospital reports to FHSIS is a challenge due primarily to absence of standard consolidation tools and reporting guidelines. This is also why extent of issues on accuracy and reliability of hospital reports cannot be fully determined. Difference in perception per reporting unit on where integration should happen was also observed. Lack of standard electronic FP FHSIS tools that facilitates consolidation and validation led to the development of excel-based tools with varying set-up depending on an area’s data needs. Despite availability of e-tools, some continue to use paper-based tools due to unavailability of equipment, limited skill, or error in the e-tool itself.

Overall, despite these challenges, short-term solutions to address these has been implemented by the users themselves. However, long-term resolution would depend largely on support and direction from the national DOH.

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