Integrated Logistic System – ILSGateway

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CONTACT

Alpha Nsaghurwe
Senior Health Information Systems Advisor
John Snow, Inc
Email

CASE STUDY SOURCE

UPDATE: March, 2021

mHealth Compendium, Volume 1
Published by:
Management Sciences for Health
Originally published:
November, 2012

PROJECT STATUS

Inactive


The information below appeared in the original case study.

IMPLEMENTATION PARTNERS

Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
John Snow, Inc.
Dimagi

FUNDER

USAID, under the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT

CONTACT (as Listed in Original Case Study)

Ousmane Dia
Chief of Party
USAID | DELIVER PROJECT

GEOGRAPHIC SCOPE

Tanzania

Target Users

Health Care Provider

Enabling Environment Building Blocks

Services and Applications

Family Planning Program Classification

Supply Chain Management

This case study was originally published in the mHealth Compendium Volume , developed by the African Strategies for Health project, implemented by Management Sciences for Health with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Updates to the original case study, submitted by the implementing organization in March 2021, appear in the final section of this case study.

Introduction

Health programs succeed when the supply chain delivers a reliable, continuous supply of essential commodities to clients, so they can choose, obtain, and use these products when and where they are needed. The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project, improves essential health commodity supply chains by strengthening logistics management information systems, streamlining distribution systems, identifying financial resources for procurements and supply chain operations, and enhancing quantification and procurement planning.
Implemented by John Snow, Inc., the project designs, develops, strengthens, and, upon request, operates safe, sustainable, and reliable supply systems that provide a range of affordable, quality essential health commodities, including drugs, diagnostics, and supplies, to clients in country programs. The project’s technical support strengthens all aspects of in-country supply chains, including quantification, procurement, distribution, management information systems, quality assurance, storage and infrastructure, and medical waste disposal.

About the ILSGateway

The USAID | DELIVER PROJECT has worked with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) to establish the ILSGateway, a mobile logistics system that supports the Integrated Logistics System (ILS). In Tanzania, obtaining high quality logistics data has been a challenge for the health care system. Without this data, decision makers have difficulty managing the supply chain, leading to the possibility that patients won’t receive the medicines they need. Before 2005, the health care system in Tanzania was made up of a number of parallel systems for restocking health care facilities with the supplies needed. The growing number of systems was uncoordinated; each cluster of facilities had separate procedures for ordering supplies from the Medical Stores Department (MSD). However, the successful implementation of an integrated logistics system (ILS) by the MOHSW, with technical support from the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, addressed the duplicative processes by integrating them into one system with a single set of procedures. In 2010, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT designed the ILSGateway, a mobile system to be used at the lowest level health facilities as a means of enhancing information visibility of key logistics data from the ILS. This new system allows real-time visibility into existing stock levels of crucial medicines.

Created to enhance supply chain decision-making, the ILSGateway is a mobile health alert and reporting system designed to increase the visibility of logistics data and improve product availability. The system was developed with an eye on sustainability, requiring health facility personnel to use personal cell phones to send logistics data via text message (SMS) to a toll-free number. This data is then transmitted to a website that analyzes and displays the information.

Evaluation and Results

The project conducted a quantitative review in addition to a qualitative review that was attended by users from the facility, district, and central levels to evaluate system functionality, usability, and impact. Of the 29 facility users that responded to the survey, 93 percent felt that ILSGateway improved their diligence in conducting a stock count on time. In addition to that, 93 percent indicated they are more likely to submit their ILS report and requisition forms to the district on time as a result of the alerts provided by the ILSGateway. Eighty-eight percent of 17 district respondents said the tool has increased attention to the management of a list of 20 essential medicines, including reproductive health commodities, in their districts. A majority of the district users surveyed (94 percent) responded that ILSGateway has improved the timeliness with which they receive report and requisition forms. Overall, 45 percent of facilities indicated an increase in tracer product availability through the use of ILSGateway.

In the post-pilot phase, the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and the MOHSW are working to instill a data culture and build requisite computer skills among health workers, particularly at the district level to improve their ability to access data generated in the ILSGateway. Moving forward, the project and partners hope to link this mobile health logistics system to other automated health systems being developed by the MOHSW with the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and its partners. As the visibility of logistics data improves, decision makers and health workers at all levels will be able to improve the availability of health commodities in Tanzania.

 

Conclusion

Using mobile phones, the ILSGateway improves the flow of information from facilities to central medical stores, thereby facilitating more timely decision-making and ultimately improved product availability at service delivery points.

Project Updates

The Integrated Logistics System (ILS) Gateway filled the gap in ILS in Tanzania but is no longer active due to changes in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s reporting structure. Prior to 2017, health facilities reported and requested health commodities from central medical stores on just a quarterly basis. The ILSGateway supported facilities with monthly reporting to track the status of 20 tracer commodities as an early warning system for stockouts. After a holistic supply chain review in 2017 led the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to move from quarterly to monthly reporting, and bi-monthly ordering/requisitioning, the ILSGateway was no longer needed.

References and Resources

USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, Task Order 4: http://www.jsi.com/JSIInternet/IntlHealth/project/display.cfm?ctid=na&cid=na&tid=40&id=7801
The ILSGateway: Mobile phones improve data visibility and lead to better commodity availability in Tanzania: http://www.jsi.com/JSIInternet/Features/article/display.cfmthisSection=Features&thisSectionTitle=Features&thisPage=stories&ctid=na&cid=na&tid=20&id=414
AIDSTAR-Two: The Use of Information and Communication Technology in Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Other Health Programs: A Review of Trends and Evidence:
http://www.msh.org/resource-center/publications/upload/AIDSTAR-Two_Use-of-ICT-in-FP_Final-Paper_November-7-2011.pd