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Report calls for standardization, ‘datafication’ of CHW field

 

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A new report by the Frontline Health Workers Coalition highlights the opportunities in the Community Health Worker (CHW) field to address some of the greatest global health challenges, but also demonstrated the need for more rigorous standardization of the field and data collection practices in order to achieve this goal.

The report, entitled “A Commitment to Community Health Workers,” discusses the benefits of CHW programs that are effectively and systematically integrated into national health systems, but it warns that not enough has been done globally to achieve this status.

The authors outline the lack of data on CHW numbers, attributes and services, without which it says “governments and their partners cannot rationally integrate CHWs into the health system nor gauge the full impact of CHWs on health outcomes.”

The report lists a series of policy and planning, support systems, and monitoring evaluation guidelines organizations should follow to properly integrate CHWs and track their effects within a health delivery team.

MHP Salud has observed these same trends and created a suite of resources organizations interested in the model can adopt to improve both the role of CHWs in their organization and their ability to collect and report accurate data in real time.

The agency has published dozens of free resources to address the issues, including a Clinical Promotor(a) Job Description and a host of CHW program evaluation tools. MHP Salud also offers trainings and assistance that educate organizations how to fund, implement, oversee and improve a successful CHW programs, including how to use smartphone technology to institute a state-of-the art CHW program data collection platform.

These tools are meant to fulfill MHP Salud’s mission of promoting the CHW model and, as the report says, “support these workers and effectively extend the continuum of care to the community level.”