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Mobiles in support of Sentinel Site Surveillance

The “mobiles in support of Sentinel Site Surveillance (mS-cube)” project, following the success of the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP), investigated the scalability and institutionalization issues. The mS-cube project was carried out in the Wayamba Province of Sri Lanka. The Infectious Disease Control (IDC) nurses, in the province, were given training on the “mHealthSurvey” mobile application and provided with mobile phones for submitting digitized all outpatient and inpatient health records. The findings are that the relatively older IDC nurses find it difficult to enter data with the mobile keypad and do not have an incentive to submit all patient records (i.e. reluctant to change). However, the same nurses recommended that larger screens with a mouse or easy to scroll capabilities (e.g. Tablets PC) would be versatile and easier to use.

Based on the RTBP findings, one of the policy recommendation was that each hospital should employ an assistant to digitize the health records. The incremental cost in hiring a new resource person does not affect the total cost of ownership. During this mS-cube project, the Wayamba Province Health Ministry hired hospital assistance. However, the recruitment was politically influenced, which resulted in hiring English illiterate persons that had no aptitude for digitizing health records.

To strategically introduce an electronic version of disease surveillance and notification system, in developing countries, would be to align the RTBP with the existing Sentinel Site Surveillance (S3) programs. The S3 data collection, inferencing, and dissemination can be enhanced with the use of mobile technology. This project developed a software requirement specifications for developing such a mobile software suite for supporting the S3 programs. The specifications are on three components required for disease surveillance and alerting: collection of outpatient, inpatient, and special disease investigation data.

The mS-Cube project report


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