CommCare Precision Tasking Framework: A Prioritized Tasking Solution for Supervisors and Health Workers
September 6, 2021;
4 min read
Community Health Workers (CHWs) can help improve maternal and child health by providing essential healthcare services and driving behavior change at the local level.
Based on the World Bank’s data, approximately 462 women died per 100,000 live births from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childcare in 2017. In the same year, an estimated 3,000 children out of 100,000 live births died mainly from avoidable causes.
The CHWs assume even greater significance in low and middle-income countries that face an acute shortage of healthcare professionals and account for an overwhelming majority of these preventable deaths. However, they are overburdened with paperwork and can not focus on service delivery. They do not have access to targeted identification, task tracking, or prioritization that could help them improve the quality of service. Health systems often face delays in data collection required for decision making.
Any of these issues can hamper the execution of even the most well-intentioned policies. Dimagi has created a Prioritized Tasking Framework that aims to help CHWs focus on service delivery, enable data-driven decision making and provide patients access to better care. Thus, contributing to one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Support for this project was provided by PATH, and their Digital Square initiative has worked with Dimagi to create a reference application in CommCare. The application enables users to create data-driven tasks for health workers and supervisors, helping to drive more effective performance management, optimizing time spent on the most vital life-saving tasks, and ultimately improving key health metrics and outcomes.
What are Tasks?
A task is a piece of work to be done or undertaken. Health worker & supervisor tasks may vary throughout the day, for example triaging symptomatic patients over call, following up on sick people, monitoring performance, and continuing education. CommCare Tasks define how and when a specific health encounter is supposed to be delivered, allowing the system to be priority-driven & measurable over time.
CommCare-based Tasking Solution
The Precision Tasking Framework is a customizable solution built on CommCare, to enable users to create data-driven tasks for CHW and supervisors. It enables them to enhance performance, prioritize life-saving tasks, and improve key health metrics.
The Precision Tasking Framework, a unified platform for the CHWs and their Supervisors, is built for enabling digitized service delivery, data sharing, a unified patient view, and advanced reporting capabilities. We have built it to provide a number of key benefits:
Team coordination: Solve coordination problems within your team and ensure timely and measurable impact related to the health of the targeted communities.
Improve service delivery: Allow CHWs and Supervisors to focus on service delivery by arming them with a job aid that cuts out the paperwork.
Track patients over time: Collect longitudinal data through case management and allow the CHWs to see a complete history of their interactions with patients.
Work offline: Continue to use the application without an internet connection by storing information on the device and uploading it to the server when a connection is restored.
Create cases via SMS: Allow patients to send an SMS to request an appointment, which is then added as a new task in the CHWs application (who are also notified by their own SMS).
Mobile Reporting: Actionable Insights for Supervisor and Administrators
The Precision Tasking Framework has a versatile reporting capability that allows users to review the performance of CHWs, execute targeted interventions, monitor key health indicators, and identify areas for improvement. As an example, some of the key indicators available in the template application include:
Total Tasks Completed
ANC Tasks Completed
PNC Tasks Completed
Number of Child Care visits Done
Number of Pregnancies Registered
The reports provide both a graphical and a tabular view of CHW performance for the last three months, allowing supervisors and administrators to identify trends, manage workload, and do capability building as required. Supervisor applications also have a comparative view of CHW performance to enable them to identify top performers and provide supportive supervision to CHWs not performing as per expectations.
Digitization of services, tasks, notifications, and similar functions can assist CHWs in identifying needy patients at an early stage, ensuring a gradual improvement in the overall health of the communities.
Through its unified platform, the CommCare Tasking Framework can facilitate data sharing among the CHW and Supervisors and provide them with a shared patient view. This allows teams to coordinate their work to reach the right beneficiary at the right time rather than work in an adversarial manner. The CHWs are also able to learn skills from each other and support each other to be more efficient and provide better services to the beneficiaries.
Our tasking framework incorporated many key aspects of a tasking framework Ona recently designed for OpenSRP, which they have generously shared with us. We have also worked with both Ona and Medic to develop a shared data model for FLW tasks.
To learn more about the Precision Tasking Framework and see it in action, click here.