Information Systems for Health (IS4H) ICT Assessment Consultancy

Operation #: JA-T1141 or ATN/OC-16573-JA

Background:

Ministry of Health, Government of Jamaica (MOH/GOJ) is planning and executing an investment loan from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB; JA-L1049). The programme objective is to improve the health of Jamaica’s population by strengthening comprehensive policies for the prevention of NCDs risk factors and for the implementation of a chronic care model with an improved access to strengthened and integrated primary and hospital services networks, that provide more efficient and higher quality care. The policy-based operation of this Hybrid Programme is the first operation of a PBP series which will be made up of two contractually independent and technically linked loans. The policies in the Programmatic Series will consolidate regulatory measures to address the preventable causes of NCDs and to reorient health systems to address prevention and control of NCDs through a people-centred primary health chronic care model. The investment component, in turn, will finance activities to consolidate integrated health networks and improve the management, quality and efficiency of health services. While the PBP will benefit the Jamaican population at-large, the Investment Loan will have approximately 800,000 potential direct beneficiaries who reside in the catchment areas of the health services networks that will receive investments.

Information systems for health are critical to primary health care and the CCM, as well as complex care. The WHO recognizes the need for information systems for health as part of the Package of Essential Noncommunicable (PEN) Disease Interventions for Primary Health Care in Low-Resource Settings [25]. Additionally, research shows that digital tools can make important contributions to the provision of chronic care when patients and providers are connected to share information, compare this information to knowledge found in evidence-based standards, and monitor results through regular feedback and interaction [26]. Adoption of health information technology has produced mortality rate reductions for complex patients whose diagnoses require cross‐specialty care coordination and extensive clinical information management in hospital settings [28] and improvements in resource allocation efficiency [29]. Health information systems, along with information sharing, have the potential to improve clinical practice by reducing staff errors, improving automated harm detection, monitoring infections more effectively, and enhancing the continuity of care during physician handoffs. A significant number of opportunities exist for the Hospital Information Management System (HIMS) to contribute to savings for both the health system and the Jamaican economy.[1]

Telemedicine[2] and mobile health (mHealth) present possibilities to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of NCD management, which can occur principally in the outpatient setting [31]. For example, blood pressure control consultations by way of 10-15 emails and/or phone calls can occur across weeks and the cost is approximately 29% of the cost of in-person acute care [32]. mHealth tools, such as text messages, medication reminders, symptom monitoring, educational resources, and facilitated patient-provider communication to increase adherence targeting low-income, elderly, and minority groups were found to lessen the burden of travel to a care provider. They have also facilitated better management and improved patient confidence to monitor chronic diseases [33]. Telehealth, or the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology, has been especially effective in the management of chronic diseases, and has demonstrated improvement in outcomes (diabetes), empowerment and self-management (diabetes and high-risk dialysis patients) [33]. As mobile-cellular subscriptions are high in Jamaica (115 per 100 inhabitants) [34] mHealth and telemedicine may provide an opening to improve patient adherence and aid in follow-up. Given Jamaica’s experience using ECHO’s tele‑mentoring portal for HIV, this platform could be expanded to support chronic illness, and use-cases could be developed to pilot the use of mHealth and telemedicine for chronic care.

PAHO has also been supporting MOH/GOJ to strengthen information systems for health (IS4H) in Jamaica. IS4H is a key strategy in the efforts of the MOH/GOJ improve planning, decision-making, policy formulation, and health equality in Jamaica. MOH/GOJ has embarked on a renewed effort to strengthen and expand its use of information technology to improve the efficiency, efficacy and safety of both clinical and business processes, and to improve the availability of quality information to support clinical, program and policy decision-making.

 

The team: The team is led by the Project Execution Unit (PEU) from MOH/GOJ, and comprises experts from Jamaica and the international community.  The successful individual will form part of this team on a contract basis and report to the ICT Lead.  The successful individual will also work collaboratively with other leaders from across the Ministry of Health, Regional Health Authorities, and the private health sector, as well as with other ministries and international partners.

 

What you’ll do: The primary function of this role is to assess the current information and communications technology infrastructure and to estimate the cost of strengthening the infrastructure for several health services networks that will be the focus of facility, infrastructure and program strengthening under the IDB investment loan.  This role is expected to require about 40 days of effort over a 3-month period starting in April 2019 and the key responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate with MOH/GOJ, IDB and PAHO/WHO to develop an appropriate consultation and ICT infrastructure assessment approach including a methodology and supporting tools which must be based on regional or international standards but customized to the Jamaican context, and to confirm the proposed future state use of health information technologies within the target health services networks;
  • Develop and distribute an ICT survey on a freely-available, on-line/offline survey platform such as CommCare, KoBo Toolbox, or Open Data Kit to gather information about the current ICT infrastructure in the health facilities (i.e., hospitals and clinics);
  • Conduct an on-site assessment of health facilities within the health services networks targeted under the IDB investment loan to confirm information gathered in the survey;
  • Document the current state of ICT infrastructure in the targeted health services networks such as end-user devices (e.g., computers, mobile devices, printers) and local area networking (e.g., firewalls, servers) as well as central-level infrastructure such as wide-area networking and shared data hosting infrastructure;
  • Identify requirements for ICT infrastructure strengthening necessary to enable the future state use of health information technologies within the target health services networks.
  • Produce a report summarizing the current state, gaps, and priority areas for ICT strengthening, including estimated investment requirements.

 

Deliverables

  • Product 1: Workplan – A workplan outlining the key activities and schedule that you will undertake as well as the inputs required from MOH/GOJ or other stakeholders
  • Product 2: ICT Assessment Methodology and Tools – A re-useable methodology and assessment tools to gather information about and evaluate the ICT infrastructure in the health facilities and linking the health facilities. Note that the tools must be a reusable, freely-available, web-enabled survey (e.g., on a free survey platform) to gather information directly from the health facilities.
  • Product 3: ICT Assessment Report – Draft and final reports describing:
    • The current state ICT infrastructure (end-user devices, local area networks, wide area networks, and data/application hosting infrastructure) within the target health service networks;
    • ICT requirements to support the proposed future state use of health information technologies within the target health services networks based on consultation with MOH/GOJ, IDB and PAHO/WHO representatives;
    • Estimated investments (costs) required to enable the proposed future state use of health information technologies within target health services networks. Report should include annex with detailed budget worksheet. Worksheet should include format that can allow for easy modification of F unit costs to create estimates of different scenarios.
  • Product 4: Executive Report – A high-level summary of the detailed report in document and presentation form.

 

Payment Milestones:

Milestone Percentage of contract amount
Product 1: Workplan 20%
Product 2: ICT Assessment Methodology and Tools 30%
Product 3: ICT Assessment Report (Final) 40%
Product 4: Executive Report (Final) 10%

 

Skills you’ll need:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree Computer Science (or equivalent);
  • Experience: Minimum of 7 years of experience with designing, implementing and supporting ICT infrastructure within a health care setting; Previous experience conducting IM-IT inventories or assessments; prior experience with online-offline survey tools such as CommCare, Kobo Toolbox or Open Data Kit
  • Languages: Advanced writing, communication and presentation skills in English
  • Core and Technical Competencies: Demonstrable knowledge of current IT infrastructure related technologies, principles, best practices and trends; Excellent knowledge of current principles, best practices and trends guiding the development of ICT architectures; Excellent knowledge of current principles, best practices and trends guiding the engineering, maintenance and support of IT infrastructures; Previous experience working with Caribbean or Latin American health sector clients is desirable. Ability to work as a team; Ability to work under pressure; Produce and deliver quality results; Ability to communicate with and present to a variety of technical and non-technical audiences

 

Opportunity Summary: 

  • Length of contract: 40 non-consecutive days over 3 months
  • Starting date: April 2019
  • Location: Jamaica
  • Responsible person: IS4H Lead, MOH/GOJ
  • Requirements: You must be a citizen of one of the IDB’s 48 member countries and have no family members currently working at the IDB Group. The successful individual is required to obtain a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) from Tax Administration Jamaica, Government of Jamaica upon contract award.

 

Our culture: Working with us you will be surrounded by a diverse group of people who have years of experience in all types of development fields, including transportation, health, gender and diversity, communications and much more.

 

Consanguinity: Pursuant to applicable Bank policy, candidates with relatives (including the fourth degree of consanguinity and the second degree of affinity, including spouse) working for the IDB, IDB Invest, or MIF as staff members or Complementary Workforce contractuals, will not be eligible to provide services for the Bank.

 

Diversity: The Bank is committed to diversity and inclusion and to providing equal opportunities to all candidates. We embrace diversity on the basis of gender, age, education, national origin, ethnic origin, race, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. We encourage women, Afro-descendants and persons of indigenous origins to apply.

 

[1]     Conservative estimates suggest if the United States healthcare system were interoperable, at least US$77 billion would be saved annually [37].

[2]     Telemedicine allows patients, providers and other health care system players to overcome geographical barriers by connecting users who are not in the same physical location [30].