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Transitioning OpenELIS Training and Implementation to Local Professionals in Côte d’Ivoire

For nearly a decade I-TECH has worked in Côte d’Ivoire in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and implement an electronic laboratory information system in key laboratories. In order to respond to evolving data needs and ensure timely access to quality laboratory data, an electronic LIS requires ongoing development and continuous user training and technical support.

Previously, from 2015-2017 I-TECH worked closely with the Ivorian Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene (MSHP)’s Direction de la Planification, Perspective, Evaluation, et de l’Information Sanitaire (DPPEIS) to identify, develop and reinforce the capacity of local professionals to lead and conduct LIS training, deployment, and maintenance activities in anticipation of national roll-out of the LIS at 96 general hospital laboratories. As part of this effort, and in collaboration with the DPPEIS, I-TECH facilitated two intensive, week-long workshops on LIS training curricula delivery and LIS deployment skills followed by face-to-face and distance mentoring during LIS implementation activities. I-TECH technical staff used routine monitoring data collected during specific capacity building and implementation activities to monitor progress toward transition.

I-TECH has trained users and deployed LIS at 13 national and regional level laboratories. Between 2013 and 2015, the total number of local professionals competent in LIS deployment increased to 24 local LIS support providers, while the number of in-country LIS trainers increased to 27. Within ten months, local IT providers and trainers trained over 75 health care workers to use an LIS and implemented an LIS at 36 laboratories. During supervision visits to 26 laboratories, within 4 to 6 months post-installation, 25 out of 26 (96%) of laboratories were actively using the LIS.

As a result of the LIS transition activities implemented by the DPPEIS and I-TECH, increased access to laboratory data is now available at over 50 laboratories serving over 130,000 people living with HIV. Maintaining an operational LIS at each site on a continuous basis is an emerging challenge for the current pool of LIS IT providers. Ongoing efforts to establish the policies and guidelines necessary to harness and direct the growing expertise of local LIS IT providers will be critical to meeting this challenge moving forward.

For More Information on OpenELIS:
I-TECH continues to make considerable progress with code base development for OpenELIS. For more information, please access the OpenELIS demo site.