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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Indonesia’s New Animal Health Information System (iSIKHNAS)

iSIKHNAS is Indonesia’s new animal health information system. The system uses every day technology in simple but clever ways to gather data from the field and make it immediately available to users and stakeholders in ways that are readily useful and meaningful.

iSIKHNAS puts the field staff at the centre of the system because they are in closest touch with the livestock, owners and their communities. Their role is crucial to the success and strength of iSIKHNAS. 

Their record of the cases they see, the actions and decisions they take as well as the outcomes of cases is quickly, simply and easily transmitted to iSIKHNAS and then iSIKHNAS goes to work to manage, report and analyse the data. Farmers benefit from the system by receiving better and more rapid service from the field staff. 

The field staff benefit because they can offer a better service, target their efforts better, keep better informed and stop spending so much time doing administrative work. iSIKHNAS supports para-vets to build stronger relationships with livestock owners, vets can target the priorities and resources better, and management can make better decisions based on accurate and up to date data. It is a win-win-win for everyone. 

In addition, iSIKHNAS will integrate several existing information handling systems to make them more efficient and available to more users. The integration of these systems will make their data all the more powerful and will greater support the work of our decision makers at all levels. 

Indonesia has several existing systems which have managed data for single purposes including InfoLab for laboratory data and the original SIKHNAS for field disease reports. These systems lacked real power because they were not connected. iSIKHNAS is bringing these systems together so that their data is able to be more efficiently managed and shared by all stakeholders. The data will be made available to authorised users through a variety of means such as the iSIKHNAS website or via the reports, charts, spread sheets and maps created by the system and sent by email or SMS to staff who require them. 

Using iSIKHNAS, we will be able to link laboratory submission data with disease reports, maps with movement data or outbreak reports, slaughter data with production and population data, and all smoothly and automatically. That is great for decision makers at every level and good for everyone who is working in the animal health sector. 

What makes the system special?
Strong founding principles with farmers and field staff at the heart
To ensure it meets its goals iSIKHNAS has been built on a number of strong founding principles which have driven its growth from the outset. They are crucial features of its success and values which underpin every aspect of its approach to all its stakeholders. 

The System
  • has the people working closest to the animals and their owners - those involved in data reporting - at the heart of the system - and they should be rewarded by their involvement with the system.
  • only enhances, supports and eases the work of those reporting and working for the system.
  • does not burden any users' normal duties but instead brings immediate and tangible benefit to their work.
  • gives more than it takes from users to ensure that every user benefits from the system.
  • provides a service to all its different users at all times and that this service should be responsive to changing needs of its users.
The Data
The data reported to, collected and managed by the system should be
  • a natural outcome from the conduct of routine animal health work, it should never be the goal in itself.
  • only ever entered once, by the person reporting, at the time of the event.
  • automatically checked so that it is correct at entry
  • reported in its smallest, most immediate form from the field
  • never grouped, manipulated or generalised (aggregated)
  • able to be used flexibly
  • secure
  • immediately available to all who need it
  • provided to users in accessible, flexible forms, tailored to specific needs
  • able to be submitted in a variety of ways
What is it for?
 iSIKHNAS is all about ...
  • getting the right information
  • to the right people
  • at the right time
  • in the right form
in order to help our farmers and secure a healthier future for Indonesia.
Provides a service to all
  • Provides real benefits to farmers and their communities
  • Allows everyone to use good evidence when making decisions
  • Gives direct benefits to staff at all levels
  • Improves communication
  • Makes reporting faster and easier
  • Removes the routine reporting burden.
What we can do now that we couldn't do before?
iSIKHNAS is changing the way we do things in many different areas by giving us access to data and analysis "in real time". Here are a few examples of the new power we have at our finger tips as a result. We can now -
  • Receive automatically generated reports about disease reported flexibly tailored to suit the interests of the recipient.
  • Produce maps of livestock movements and trace animals back to their origin
  • Generate tailor-made graphs, reports and spreadsheets of data of interest to you
  • Monitor staff activity accurately and prioritise training needs
  • See daily slaughter data for all abattoirs in Indonesia
  • Monitor the efficacy of breeding and artificial insemination programs
  • Monitor vaccination coverage accurately
  • Monitor and improve treatment regimes for better health outcomes
  • Keep a closer eye on the data for patterns of disease across the entire country
  • Automatically link laboratory data with surveillance programs
  • Link laboratory submissions with the laboratory system immediately and easily
  • Identify animals uniquely and keep records about their breeding
  • and much more

How does it work?

In districts all over Indonesia, staff working in animal health, production, movement, quarantine, slaughterhouses and laboratories are all able to submit data using SMS, instant messaging, spreadsheets and the iSIKHNAS website as well as to refer to data on the website or sent to them in automated reports. As soon as data is submitted it becomes immediately useable for decisions and analysis. 

Rural communities throughout Indonesia will now have faster and better targeted veterinary assistance when they report animal health problems. Using village animal health reporters (pelsa) as a contact point, farmers will be able to alert their local dinas staff more quickly and reliably using a simple, coded SMS message. 

Alerts are sent automatically to para-vets and vets working in the area. Field staff are able to determine the urgency and respond appropriately with by phone and/or visits. So now, staff throughout Indonesia can stay better connected with their local communities by responding to alerts of problems (routine and priority) in a more effective and timely manner. Farmers get immediate benefits. 

Information is submitted to the system by trained, authorised users. Depending on the volume of data, its origin or purpose, it can be submitted using different everyday mechanisms - SMS, Instant Messaging, spreadsheets or via the website. The data is then checked, processed and stored in the iSIKHNAS database. This database has been carefully designed by specialists in the field to ensure that it will be flexible, efficient, robust, and secure for a very long time to come. It dictates how data is organised and how it can be used. 

The website is the key access point for access to iSIKHNAS data. As each new district becomes involved their data will immediately become available on-line. It will be stored safely but will always remain accessable by any user with permission to view the data. The original data is never manipulated or changed. The hard work of the field staff lies at the heart of the success of iSIKHNAS and the system is built on the fine service they are providing to rural communities throughout Indonesia. 

iSIKHNAS dramatically reduces the amount of paperwork and administration required of field staff, allowing them more time to work on the ground, helping the diverse communities so important to Indonesia's future food security and prosperity.
iSIKHNAS now lets us make better decisions about:
  • how budget is used,
  • how staff are managed,
  • if treatments are successful,
  • how successful control programs are,
  • how well we are supporting our staff,
  • if our goals are being achieved,
  • where we should focus our resources,
  • which staff require more training.... and the list goes on.
Fast. Easy to use. Secure. Inexpensive. Transparent. For everyone.

What does it do?

Data linkages make data more powerful

Using iSIKHNAS, we can link laboratory submission data with disease reports; maps with movement data or outbreak reports; slaughter data with production and population data; and all smoothly and automatically in easy to use formats. That is great for decision makers at every level and good for everyone who is working in the animal health sector.

Flexible approaches suit all types of users

Data submission is possible via SMS, Instant Messaging (IM), spreadsheets and the website. Data viewing is easy via spreadsheets automatically emailed, the website and SMS system query functions. Direct database access through other software such as QGIS for mapping offers infinite flexibility for advanced users.

Automated reporting promotes greater efficiency and accuracy

The variety of reports available via the website or automatically sent by email to users is always expanding. Upon request, new reports can be created for regular viewing and reporting, analysis and information sharing. The raw data upon which these reports is based can always be accessed and downloaded for further use, analysis or reporting.

What are the benefits ?

For the users in the field

  • Fast, easy data entry, direct from the source
  • Immediate response for important problems
  • Lower data entry burden for everyone
  • Automatic data checking
  • System query functions - to get information from the system
  • Return messages confirming report details
  • Sustainable, integrated system using everyday technology
  • Regular reports generated automatically
  • More time for important work and less paperwork

For all users

  • Provides service and benefit to all users
  • Replaces a slow, paper-based system
  • Stronger support for decision makers
  • Immediate access to the data at all levels
  • User-friendly, flexible data sharing service
  • Automatic analyses for different routine purposes
  • Real time access to data in different formats

And all this ...

  • Allows us to help farmers better.
  • Helps to reduce risks to rural communities and the livestock sector.

Who is involved?

  • Dinas veterinarians and para-vets
  • Other technical staff
  • Village reporters, pelapor desa (‘pelsa’)
  • Abattoirs and slaughter houses
  • Laboratory staff
  • Meat inspectors
  • Staff working in quarantine
  • Specialist epidemiologists
  • Inseminators
  • Vaccinators
  • Some human health staff
  • As well as many farmers!!

How is it managed ?

The management of iSIKHNAS is overseen by a committee of senior staff from various directorates general and subdirectorates. This group is responsible for managing some of the priorities, administration and future growth of the system. They will have the national goals in mind as well us a clear understanding of the core iSIKHNAS system principles. They will help guide the future and support all users with policy, regulatory and administrative leadership. The committee is supported by the technical expertise from the system administrators or Champions and the Epidemiology Advisory group.

The Champions - our system administrators

The Champions are the people who are most involved in the technological aspects of iSIKHNAS - the database, the development of output reports, new functions and additional features. They understand the iSIKHNAS system profoundly and have the specialist skills required to mould the system to meet the needs of all its various users.
The Champions are an enthusiastic and responsive team with a desire to address problems efficiently, meet specific requests and ensure the continued smooth-running of the system.

The Epi Leaders - our epidemiological experts

This important group acts as an advisory group to the Champions and the Management Committee. With their guidance and assistance, iSIKHNAS data will be used to best effect. They will help us to ask the right questions, guide our understanding of the results of analysis and keep an eye on the 'big picture' - the data needs for the whole country. To help us to ask and answer the questions which will inform our decisions and priority setting.

Specialist Coordinators - our coordinators from the subsections

Each administrative level has to apoint a coordinator and that person will need a certain amount of training in how the system works and how to support users well. Eventually, each region, province and kabupaten will have a designated coordinator. Some areas may choose to share the coordination between two staff members to ensure that one person is not burdened with too much responsibility. 

District coordinators play a vital role. The coordinators will support the work of the important people in the field - our field staff - dinas vets and para-vets, inseminators, field Kesmavet staff etc. - and the village reporters (pelsa). These individuals are the source of most data and their continued supported collaboration is vital to the ongoing strength of iSIKHNAS. 

Source: Directorate of Animal Health

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