Digitizing primary healthcare: Implementation research project on Digital
Adaptation Kits for strengthening quality of care and accountability

DAKCountries are increasing investments in the digitization of legacy paper-based systems. WHOlaunched the SMART Guidelines initiative to support countries’ digitization journeys andfacilitate a structured approach to embedding WHO recommendations and standards withindigital systems. “Digital Adaptation Kit” (DAK) is one of the tools within the WHO SMARTGuidelines initiative. DAKs provide an operational and software-neutral mechanism that distils WHO guidelines into a standardized format that can be more easily incorporated intodigital systems.

The DAKs are intended to help provide health contentandrequirements to pply WHO guidance in digital form and communicate with both health practitioners/managers and technologists as they design digital systems. DAKs have been developed for sexual and reproductive health areas of antenatal care (ANC), family planning (FP), and HIV. Other health areas such as immunization, tuberculosis, and child health are also in the pipeline as part of a comprehensive primary health care (PHC) approach.
eHealth Lab Ethiopia /University of Gondar in collaboration with WHO headquarters and WHO country office are implementing DAKs at primary health care facilities.

Aims of the project

This implementation research aims to identify processes needed for adapting andincorporating the DAKs into countries’ existing digital systems for strengthening primary care, as well as assessing the impact of introducing the DAKs on service delivery and routine health information systems.

Expected outcomes

Findings from this research will refine standard operating procedures for effectively implementing DAKs to optimize outcomes related to quality of care, integration of services, and data quality and analysis. By leveraging SRH-HIV as a use case, this implementation research study will provide replicable models and findings that can be extended to additional health areas and offer a consistent methodology for digitizing services at the PHC level.

Research Phases

  • World Health Organization Headquarters
  • World Health Organization country office
  • eHealth Lab Ethiopia/University of Gondar

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