Title: TRACnet's absorption into the Rwandan HIV/AIDS response

Authors: Theodore Svoronos, Irene Anne Jillson, Marns Martin Nsabimana

Addresses: School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Village A B201 #576205, Washington, DC 20057, USA. ' School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, 3700 Reservoir Road, N.W. Washington, DC 20057, USA. ' Nyamirambo sector, Nyarugenge District, Kigali City, Rwanda

Abstract: Rwanda|s TRACnet initiative is an electronic communication system parallel to the Rwandan healthcare management information system (HMIS), designed to coordinate antiretroviral therapy (ART) throughout the country. This study attempts to discern TRACnet|s absorption by Rwandan HIV/AIDS organisations, using Richard Heeks| framework for evaluating HMIS interventions. Interviews with stakeholders and users of TRACnet confirm that TRACnet is reducing the costs and time associated with submitting ART data. However, submissions through TRACnet remain inconsistent and often inaccurate. Other potential features of TRACnet remain unrealised. This is primarily caused by a lack of understanding of the TRACnet interface, a lack of response mechanisms attached to data submissions, and technological factors limiting bi-directional communication. Greater staff training and the introduction of two-way communication pathways into the TRACnet interface would encourage a shift toward a more dynamic system.

Keywords: absorption; Africa; health systems; healthcare management; management information systems; healthcare MIS: HIV/AIDS; HMIS; informatics; mobile phones; monitoring systems; rural healthcare; Rwanda; technology transfer; TRACnet; HIV; AIDS; cell phones; antiretroviral therapy; electronic communications.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2008.020197

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.9 No.5/6, pp.430 - 445

Published online: 08 Sep 2008 *

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