rCHITS stands for real-time monitoring of maternal and child health indicators through the Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS).
Through the efforts of UNICEF and the UP Manila National Telehealth Center (UPM – NTHC), rCHITS started last November 2011 to May 2012 in three project sites (Gamay, Northern Samar, Sto. Domingo, Albay, and Glan, Sarangani). Now on its second run, the project has expanded to ten sites all over the Philippines. These ten sites are Lebak and Kalamansig in Sultan Kudarat, Malungon in Saranggani Province, Midsayap, Aleosan, Arakan and President Roxas in North Cotabato, Puerto Princesa City, Davao City and Quezon City.
As the logo above shows, the main concern of the project is the health of mothers and children in the Philippines. Results from the 2011 Family Health Survey revealed that while there is a steady decrease of infant mortality there was, on the other hand, an increase of maternal mortality rates from 162 to 221 between the periods of 2006 to 2011 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/98939199/Maternal-and-Child-Health-Family-Health-Survey-for-2011). The project intends to further improve the maternal and child health by strengthening the health information system in various municipalities across the country.
rCHITS envisions real-time reporting of key indicators that will help in strengthening the health information system as well as aid in evidence-based decision making. To achieve this, the project utilizes Internet and Communications Technologies (ICTs) like CHITS, mReports, and the LGU Dashboard. These three are the main components of the project.
CHITS is an electronic medical records system developed by the University of the Philippines Manila, College of Medicine MIU. Mobile reporting gathers relevant health data from the barangay level through the use of free and open source mobile applications. The LGU Dashboard is a graphical user interface which can be accessed through the web which allows the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) to see the health status of his/her respective community or barangay.
How does it work?
The project trains public health workers in using cellphones and computers to report health data. The data collected will go into a server and displayed into a dashboard through which decision-makers can see the real-time maternal and child health status of a site.
Through this mechanism, local chief executives (i.e. municipal mayor) can make sound and evidence based decision which could improve health outcomes in their local municipality. Additionally, it can serve as a means of quickly checking the status of maternal and child health in a municipality by which immediate action can be done by respective authorities if necessary.