Background: Policy making in healthcare requires reliable and local data. Different sources of coverage data for health interventions can be utilized to populate the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), a commonly used policy-planning tool for women and children's health. We have evaluated four existing sources of antenatal care data in Palestine to discuss the implications of their use in LiST.
Methods: We identified all intervention coverage and health status indicators around the antenatal period that could be used to populate LiST. These indicators were calculated from 1) routine reported data, 2) a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), 3) paper-based antenatal records and 4) the eRegistry (an electronic health information system) for public clinics in the West Bank, Palestine for the most recent year available. We scaled coverage of each indicator to 90%, in public clinics only, and compared this to a no-change scenario for a seven-year period.
Results: Eight intervention coverage and health status indicators needed to populate the antenatal section of LiST could be calculated from both paper-based antenatal records and the eRegistry. Only two could be calculated from routine reports and three from a national survey. Maternal lives saved over seven years ranged from 5 to 39, with percent reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) ranging from 1 to 6%. Pre-eclampsia management accounted for 25 to 100% of these lives saved.
Conclusions: The choice of data source for antenatal indicators will affect policy-based decisions when used to populate LiST. Although all data sources have their purpose, clinical data collected directly in an electronic registry during antenatal contacts may provide the most reliable and complete data to populate currently unavailable but needed indicators around specific antenatal care interventions.
Keywords: Antenatal care indicators; Data for policy-making; Lives Saved Tool (LiST); Priority setting in maternal and child health.