As stipulated in WHO’s framework for action: “Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes” and WHO building blocks for Health System Strengthening (HSS), a well functional health information is necessary to ensure efficient production, analysis, dissemination and use of quality information on health determinants, health system performance and monitoring of population health status.
The Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland is by no means different in appreciating the dire need for a reliable and timely health information which will serve as an essential foundation of public health action and health systems strengthening at all levels (facility, regional and national levels).
In responding to this need, the Ministry of Health (MoH) Strategic Information Department (SID), through technical support from IHM Southern Africa has been working tirelessly to establish a robust and integrated national Client Management Information System (CMIS) that facilitates efficient collection of high quality data to inform appropriate health care service provision, management of clients, and M&E functions at all the different levels of health system.
How does CMIS work?
The CMIS is installed at each facility, and patients at each facility are registered into the system. The CMIS keeps a patient’s health information securely and confidentially. As the CMIS is rolled out to more and more health facilities, your medical information can be accessed by nurses and doctors whichever facility you visit.
Who is already using it?
It’s operating in four facilities currently: King Sobhuza II Clinic (Manzini), Siteki PHU, and Nhlangano Health Centre & PHU and FLAS Manzini. The plan is to scale up the installation of CMIS to 134 health facilities nation-wide. We have had all kinds of reactions to the system from different users. Some users were extremely excited to start using CMIS. Others were very afraid to use the system. And many people were willing, but they mainly required some training to use it. No matter what the user reaction, though, the team is committed to provide support to ensure each user’s success on the CMIS.
Since CMIS went live at the first facility in October 2015, the team has collected a steady stream of user input and challenges. Because CMIS is a system custom-built for Swaziland, the team has consistently been able to customize and improve the system based on this information. The successful use of this system will be achieved through the inputs and contribution of all stakeholders involved directly or even indirectly with CMIS.
CMIS Scale Up and PIN Sensitization Event:
CMIS is no longer a system only known to the four pilot facilities thanks to the Scale Up event which took place on Monday, 1st of August 2016 at Nhlangano Health Centre. The Ministry of Health hosted clinicians, government departments, and the private sector and partner organizations to announce the rollout of CMIS to 134 health facilities due to the success of the piloted facilities.
Dignitaries in attendance included The Honourable Minister of Health, Sibongile Ndlela-Simelane, Her Excellency US Ambassador Lisa Peterson, USAID Country Director Wendy Benzerga, CDC Country Director Dr. Caroline Ryan, Shiselweni Regional Administrator Themba Masuku, Secretary to Cabinet Mr. Mbuso Dlamini, and WHO Representative Nomkhosi Mthetwa who all gave positive remarks on the CMIS system.
The Minister and her esteemed guests were taken on a tour of the different patient check points in the facility using the CMIS System. They were able to see first-hand just how CMIS works, as well as the benefits the system brings through improved quality of patient care.
e-Health has arrived in Swaziland, and CMIS is proof of that fact. The Ministry of Health with the assistance of IHM Southern Africa is taking great strides in achieving Vision 2022 (first world status).