District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2) for injury surveillance in a resource-constrained context.
Statement of purpose According to the World Health Organisation, injuries are among the leading causes of death and disability in the world; Sri Lanka is no exception. Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of hospitalisation in Sri Lanka for the last couple of decades. Injury research using good quality data is a must to design effective preventive measures. The major drawback for the injury prevention activities in Sri Lanka is the lack of complete, accurate and timely data. Objectives To customise and pilot DHIS2 for injury surveillance in Sri Lanka.
Methods In Sri Lanka injury data are collected on a paper based form and are subsequently entered into computer systems. In March and April 2013, we collected data from 654 patients admitted to the base-hospital Horana, with injuries. We commenced the paper based data collection process at the time of admission and continued until the patient was disposed. Subsequently, the data were entered into the customised DHIS2 application.
Results Out of 654 patients, 27% were injured due to road traffic crashes, 13% due to violence, and the other 60 due to unintentional causes. Customised DHIS2 solution addressed following deficiencies of the previous system: 1. inability to comply with the changing data needs without a major retooling; the new tool was flexible enough to capture new data items as needed, 2. data validation and handling missing information, 3. data backing-up, and 4. flexible report generation.
Conclusions Our evaluations showed that DHIS2 provides a feasible and sustainable option for injury surveillance in Sri Lanka and has the potential of scaling up to the national level.
Significance and contributions This study shows that DHIS2 can be customised for injury surveillance and this will be a cost-effective solution for resource-constrained contexts.
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