An essential task for frontline health workers is the collection of field data. This is something the team at Riders Lesotho knows well. Riders, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Lesotho, supports end-to-end transport logistics in the delivery of essential health services (including medical commodities, samples, medicines and patients) across the country. One of the most critical services is the transport of medical samples for infectious disease diagnosis – including TB, HIV and COVID-19.
Most of the field data collected by Riders’ sample transport couriers is done on mobile-held devices, with workflows set up on CommCare. With a fleet of 57 couriers that are out every day, the team in Lesotho transports over 420,000 samples and over 380,000 results from 194 health centers, 18 district laboratories and 10 mini laboratories, annually. Checking this data for completeness, timeliness and accuracy is extremely important and is an essential part of ensuring Riders’ services remain trusted by the Ministry of Health and people served. However, the challenge was that this process was highly laborious, time consuming and not easily reproducible when there are personnel changes.
Far from being bespoke or a one-off problem, the quality and integrity of data are ranked as one of the highest priority concerns by health systems stakeholders that requires a transformative solution. To address this challenge, Riders partnered with DataKind to configure DataKind’s recently published Data Observation Toolkit (DOT) – an open source, sector agnostic, digital public good that automates the monitoring and detection of inconsistent or problematic data.
DOT has now been added to Riders suite of monitoring and evaluation tools and is automated to produce a report every Monday morning for Riders Lesotho’s M&E Officer, Tumelo Seithati.
Tumelo said “DOT is going to help me with quick and easy monitoring of the large data sets generated by sample transportation. It is also going to help with continuous improvement of data quality leading to informed decision making”.
Riders strives to continuously improve their processes and is an early adopter of digital innovations to create solutions with the goal to maximise impact and strengthen health systems across Africa.