Digitizing physical records is a key component to an effective information management posture of any organization. Digital records provide an array of benefits and help to strengthen an organization’s information governance program. In addition to securely storing and managing paper-based documents, there is need to digitize them as well. It with this in mind that a digital solution was mooted for the NTLD – Program dubbed TIBU.
TIBU is a swahili word denoting “to medically treat”. TIBU is a digital solution dedicated to digitalizing sustainable lung health reporting and routine surveillance. It integrates a majority of program areas. It’s an android based application running on handheld devices and stores data online which is accessible via the internet. Currently, TIBU is being used by over 350 county and sub-county coordinators country. Before TIBU, data collection in the TB program had been manual since the inception of the NTLD-Program. Data was abstracted from the facility register at the TB clinic to the district register by the SCTLC. Consequently, only aggregated reports were available at the national level which was a report of manual tallies by the SCTLC. The limitations of this manual programme were numerous.
It is with the above in mind that the digitization process of data collection was mooted. It targeted specific points in the TB Kenya prevalence survey 2015-2016. Development of the software to conduct the survey was done through a collaborative effort with KEMRI and CDC. A mix of dot net framework and web based solutions were employed to actualize the initiative. Currently, the software has already been deployed in the field level and it runs in 4 clusters at ago i.e. both listing and Mobile Field Site- MFS. The software automatically remits data to the central server for analysis and reporting.
Among the target files for digitalizing include a TB and drug resistant TB Register, Isoniazid Preventive Therapy register, Geographic Information System reports and TB Heat Maps, a Leprosy Register, a supervision checklist, Expense sheets, Payment Request, a Tibu Cash portal and approval modules. Evidently, this is a rich digital repository that can be used to make the fight against TB, leprosy and other lung diseases more effective.
With this digitalization process, various successes have been noted. Among these are, an increased accuracy in reporting which entails a digital tally of data, availability of case based data at the national level, automated data validation checks thus ensuring data precision, availability of quick reports for forecasting and decision making both at county and national level and a digital payment system, approval and reimbursement via Mpesa.
The ICT team is currently carrying out a Rapid Result Initiative (RRI) to enhance the uptake of TIBU phase 2 items which basically involve digital supervision and payments. The initiative has been done in 26 counties. The initiative has yielded timeliness in remittance of funds meant for supervision support. It has also led to the betterment of the user’s capacity to use and maintain their devices. Users also get updates and refresher tips on use of the entire system.
Moving forward, phase 3 of this digitalization process will be about an upgrade of just about all systems. The target systems are an upgrade to new WHO definitions, an overhaul of TB & DR TB Registers, an improvement of CTLC supervision checklists, a tightening of Expense sheets, a TIBU DHIS Integration and an addition of Asthma Register and Reports with IPT Case finding report and Cohort reports.