Health Data Ownership and Data Quality: Clinics in the Nyandeni District, Eastern Cape, South Africa

  •  Graham Wright    
  •  Anthony Odama    


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the type of relationship between data ownership and data quality at the primary health care facilities of the Nyandeni sub-district of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa.
Method: A data audit was conducted to assess the quality of clinical data at primary health facilities. Structured interviews and documentary analysis methods were used to determine whether clinicians at these health facilities were using collected secondary data for decision-making.
Results: Of the five data quality attributes health facilities were audited on, only the timeliness of data reports was found to be satisfactory. Data quality was of a poor standard and there was no evidence to suggest data collected for secondary purposes was being used for decision-making by clinicians at the primary health facilities.
Conclusion: The study highlights that to improve the quality of data; clinicians need to be involved in the measurement of the quality of care that they provide. This not only serves to improve the quality of service provided but also helps clinicians appreciate the value of their work and enhances the importance of collecting quality clinical data. Clinicians as data collectors are the best placed individuals to recommend a course of action based on data they receive and are also the best placed individuals to suggest whether better ways to measure results exist.

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