mHero gives ministry officials access to efficiently send and use important, timely information that can help them better support health workers and improve health services.
mHero provides health workers with the information and support they need to protect and promote health at their facilities and in their communities.
mHero is not a single system. It is the interoperability of multiple systems working together to facilitate communication. Interoperability simply means that the systems can communicate and understand each other. This allows data in one system to be interpreted by another system. By working together, more powerful and valid information is available to inform important decision-making and improve health care delivery. Interoperability is made possible by using standards. These standards are the language that computer software systems use to communicate with each other. The updated mHero uses Fast Healthcare Information Resource (FHIR) standards making the platform interoperable with any other FHIR-compliant platform. Additionally, mHero can connect a variety of open source platforms.
The use of global standards and open source platforms invites the health information system community to explore new configurations, customizations, and possible uses for mHero to improve health systems.
There are many reasons why a ministry of health may need to send out blasts of information to all or specific groups of health workers: important updates or urgent warnings during an emergency, notification of new policies or procedures, reminders about routine data collection, encouragement and appreciation for the work being done, and more. mHero makes it possible to easily and rapidly send out messages to health workers whose information is included in a health information system such as iHRIS. All health workers across the country can be efficiently reached, or messages can be targeted at groups of health workers who share attributes (i.e. all midwives in the country, all health workers in a certain district, all health workers who attended a specific training).
Messages or flows of messages must be created in RapidPro. Once that is done, in iHRIS, MOH HR staff can: select recipients of messages with the option to filter by profile fields, manage the contact groups, and initiate the sending of messages.
Through mHero it is possible for ministries of health and health workers to have back and forth conversations with each other. Health officials can initiate the communication, for example: soliciting routine information such as service delivery or stock information or getting feedback from health workers about policies and procedures. Health workers can also initiate the communication to do things such as reporting new cases of an epidemic-prone disease and documenting issues and incidents at their workplace. The real-time exchange of information can help health officials to respond to emerging issues and determine service delivery priorities, as well as equipping health workers with important information and resources that they need to do their work. This can be motivating for health workers as it can make them feel recognized and supported.
RapidPro is used to create surveys or message flows, and iHRIS is used for creating and managing contact groups as well as for initiating the sending of messages and reviewing messages received. Exchanges can also be initiated by health workers who can send messages from their own phones at any time, using trigger words to initiate a flow of questions or messages.
Reinforcing learning from training encourages knowledge retention. mHero can support a simple mLearning quiz using SMS or IVR technology to deliver questions or key information reminders to health workers who participated in a specific training. Using a spaced education approach, the frequency and time for the SMS and IVR phone calls can be fixed with the option for health workers to also access the content at any time, to be reminded of what they learned whenever they need it. Responses to quiz questions can permit health officials to assess knowledge of health workers, verify the effectiveness of trainings, and identify topics that need to be reinforced or included in future trainings.
Linking RapidPro and iHRIS (or other platforms) and syncing data between both platforms makes it possible to use mHero to quickly and easily update human resource records including individual profiles or staffing information. New contacts into RapidPro can also be added to the appropriate health worker registry. By using mHero to validate health worker information, a more accurate picture of current staffing by facility can improve human resources management at a local and national level which contributes to ensuring that all facilities throughout the country have adequate human resources to best serve their population.
Updating HR records through mHero works through automatic contact syncing (via emNutt) which transmits data between connected platforms
Automatic contact syncing can be used for more than updating HR records. The new mHero Connector can be configured to sync with multiple health worker registries without the need to use separate instances of RapidPro. Consolidating health worker information from multiple registries makes it possible to create contact groups of all workers from a specific location or jurisdiction, who work in a particular domain or type of facility, or other shared characteristics. Pulling health worker information from multiple registries and creating contact groups can streamline communication and facilitate cross-sector communication.