Data Aggregation Application

The Data Aggregation Application restores databases from the back-up files that are sent from each health center as well as imports individual health center databases into a combined national database.

The challenge:

In order to properly manage and treat HIV patients, it’s important to have an up-to-date and active database containing patient information.  Useful information may include the total number of people infected, the total number of people in treatment, appointment and medication schedules, maternal-child transmission rates as well as death statistics.

The National Center for AIDS/HIV, Dermatology and STD (NCHADS) is a national center in Cambodia which provides many public health services to those affected by HIV. One of the services NCHADS provides are OI/ART clinics, which focuses exclusively on HIV patient treatment.

In order to analyze statistics on HIV patients, NCHADS needs to collect all the information from each site’s individual database.  In the past, data collection was done every 1-3 months and then aggregated into a single national database.  Unfortunately, migrating information into a single database was quite the challenge because any minor error in the data would cause the system to discard all of the data.  If there were any errors in the data NCHADS received from any of the clinic sites, then they had to contact the site again to edit their data so they could try it again.  They continued through this slow and tedious process until they were able to identify all of the errors so they could import the data to their central database.  Due to the time consuming nature of this method, it would take them around 1 week to get the correct data from 1 site. Currently there are 53 OI/ART sites in Cambodia.

The tool:

The data from all sites are collected by NCHADS and then aggregated to a central database. When data needs to be collected, the data management teams at each site make a copy of each file and then email it to the central NCHADS office so that they can copy the data into their centralized system.

Once NCHADS received the file, their data management teams update their national databases.   They are able to combine all the data from the sites into their centralized database allowing them to export all the information in a single Excel Spreadsheet.  Simplifying data merging and allowing export to a CSV file helps NCHADS to analyze the information they receive to help their research teams improve treatment, care and processes.

Below is the summary of application architecture:

Additional information:

Since 2008, NCHADS and InSTEDD have been working together to develop a system to improve information sharing. InSTEDD is actively engaged in Cambodia in support of the National Health Information Systems Strategic plan through a PEPFAR central grant. As part of this collaboration the iLab Southeast Asia has been providing NCHADS with adaptive technical assistance to support its strategies for future development of Health Information Systems (HIS). In light of this already close relationship, NCHADS utilized the services of the iLab Southeast Asia to develop the Data Aggregation Application.