Percent of data elements reported accurately in MIS reports

The accuracy of reporting and aggregation

A "data element" is a single datum input into an MIS. This term can refer to a single cell on a routine MIS report or in a data entry screen for automated MIS.


Primary data from health units/programs and aggregated data at all levels.


Registers, patient records, and/or tally sheets; monthly/ quarterly reports from MIS.


This indicator is used in health programs to measure accuracy of reporting and aggregation. Inaccuracies can occur when data are recorded, tallied, transposed onto reporting forms, and aggregated.

Evaluators can select a number of sample data elements and can determine the extent of agreement between (1) data recorded in service registers, patient files, tally sheets or patient files, and (2) data reported on MIS forms.

Item  # Recorded   # Reported Consistent? 
Pill cycles  36 32  No 
 IUDs  5  5 Yes
 Inectables 18  18  Yes 

                               % accuracy 2/3 or 66%

 

To measure accuracy of aggregation, organizations frequently compare a sample of data elements from the raw data reported from multiple service delivery points (SDPs) to the aggregated total reported to higher levels.

For example:

 

SDP 1 

SDP 2 SDP 3  Actual Total  Reported Total  Consistent? 
Pill Cycles   32  84  14  130  130  Yes
IUDs    5 10  7  22  20  No
Injectables   18 21   23  62   49   No 

                                                           % accuracy 1/3 or 33%


Program or facility managers may inflate or under-report data for a variety of reasons. A more sophisticated indicator would therefore measure the relative difference between recorded and reported data to determine if the problem is over- or under-reporting of data. This approach is more time-consuming and tedious to calculate but better measures reporting accuracy.

If an evaluator wants to examine issues of data quality but lacks the time to do a detailed analysis of accuracy as required in this indicator, he/she may use a more basic measurement of an MIS that looks at completeness of data: Percentage of health facilities sending reports with no missing data.


Field testing of this indicator shows that it provides a proxy indicator for the overall functioning of information systems. However, more in-depth analysis is necessary to explore whether the recorded data reflect reality. This assessment demands direct observation of those staff recording data, a technique that may be too costly to warrant routine use.


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