Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Data, Communicated

Data is everywhere. In everything we do, in everything we see, data can be found in any place in the world that surrounds us. It is this concept that has led to the rise of new “Big Data” initiatives to try and harness all of this information. The issue with data is that if you gather too much, the signal you are trying to evaluate can get lost behind all of the noise. More importantly, perhaps, is that all of this data that is collected amounts to nothing unless the actual steps are taken to communicate this data to others, and to put it to use. At Nyaya, we have been working to get to that point of data communication.

Much of my work here this summer has been working on a new Data Communication Initiative. Through all of our programs, we collect boatloads of data, however it is often difficult to use it, and it is rarely ever communicated back to the staff who collect it. With the recent work that we have been doing, this is all changing. Through a new plan we have been working on putting into place, every month, new data will be hung up in the hospital’s new Conference and Training center, as seen in the photo below.
Bulletin Board in New Conference Room
We presented the data at a data meeting which will now become a monthly event at the hospital. Since the bulletin board has been set up, dozens of staff members have taken time out of their busy schedules to come and check out the information, in order to help inform their actions moving forward.

Nyaya’s community health workers also collect a great deal of data from the communities they work in. As shown in the photo below, for the first time, Ashma, the Associate Director of Community Health, was able to show visualized data back to the community health workers, allowing for them to finally see the fruit of their labor.

Data Being Communicated to CHWs
Among these two projects, other plans are in place to provide weekly data to community health workers, to provide the clinical staff with data to supplement their daily lectures, and to use the help of our Globemed Chapter to write actionable reports on different data points.

Data may seem like an abstract concept, but it is real, usable information that can increase the care we provide to our patients, and the strength of our public health program.  All that needs to be done is to take the time to tap into its potential. We are on the road to do just that.

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