Factors associated with data quality in the routine health information system of Benin

Arch Public Health. 2014 Jul 28;72(1):25. doi: 10.1186/2049-3258-72-25. eCollection 2014.


Background: Routine health information systems (RHIS) are crucial to the acquisition of data for health sector planning. In developing countries, the insufficient quality of the data produced by these systems limits their usefulness in regards to decision-making. The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with poor data quality in the RHIS in Benin.

Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive and analytical study included health workers who were responsible for data collection in public and private health centers. The technique and tools used were an interview with a self-administered questionnaire. The dependent variable was the quality of the data. The independent variables were socio-demographic and work-related characteristics, personal and work-related resources, and the perception of the technical factors. The quality of the data was assessed using the Lot Quality Assurance Sampling method. We used survival analysis with univariate proportional hazards (PH) Cox models to derive hazards ratios (HR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Focus group data were evaluated with a content analysis.

Results: A significant link was found between data quality and level of responsibility (p = 0.011), sector of employment (p = 0.007), RHIS training (p = 0.026), level of work engagement (p < 0.001), and the level of perceived self-efficacy (p = 0.03). The focus groups confirmed a positive relationship with organizational factors such as the availability of resources, supervision, and the perceived complexity of the technical factors.

Conclusion: This exploratory study identified several factors associated with the quality of the data in the RHIS in Benin. The results could provide strategic decision support in improving the system's performance.

Keywords: Data quality; Health information systems; Related factors.