Using Health Management and Information Systems for decision making: an exploratory study in private sector level 3 & 4 health centres in Narok
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In the recent past there has been a rapid uptake in the deployment and use of HMIS by private facilities in Kenya. It is unclear how private sector managers have implemented these systems and whether they are using these systems to provide the information to make important strategic decisions vs. other sources of information and to what extent. Our objective is to explore the use of the information generated by these systems in the strategic decision making process to inform if managers of private sector facilities are reaping the expected benefits. Through an exploratory qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews, the perceptions of the facility managers on HMIS were explored. A total of 6 respondents were purposively sampled. Data was transcribed, themes explored, and analyzed in a thematic analysis approach. The results from this study indicate that most private level 3 and 4 facilities have in place HMIS systems that are comprehensive in their coverage of facility operations. The findings from this study also indicate that managers did not seem to consider HMIS as an essential tool in the decision making process in their organizations. The use of information in the decision making process was affected by the quality of the HMIS system, Low information quality due to insufficient training and lack of information policies, access and usability of their HMIS, user satisfaction and organizational processes.