Management challenges in mHealth: Failures of a mobile community health worker surveillance programme in rural Nepal

David J. Meyers, Malina Filkins, Alex Harsha Bangura, Ranju Sharma, Ashma Baruwal, Sami Pande, Scott Halliday, Dan Schwarz, Ryan K. Schwarz, Duncan S.R. Maru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Community health workers form the backbone of healthcare systems globally. The rapid expansion of mobile communications systems represents an opportunity to improve the productivity of community health workers in rural areas. Here, we describe a programme in rural Nepal that aimed to implement a mobile phone system for collecting health surveillance data, yet did not reach its fullest potential due to several programme management challenges during the implementation of the surveillance programme. Despite early successes with the mobile phone system itself, the programme ultimately failed due to leadership transitions, poor process design and a lack of consistent vision of how to operationalise the data. This field report provides important insights into the design, maintenance and pitfalls of similar community-based mobile health initiatives and technology innovation projects in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Innovations
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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