Characterization of Community Health Workers Performance when using a Point-of-Care Decision Support System vs. Current Practices: an Analytic Hierarchy Process Approach

Author: Carlos A. Garcia, MD

Primary Advisor: M. Sriram Iyengar, PhD (co-author)

Committee Members: Anath Annapragada, PhD; Jorge Herskovic, MD, PhD (co-author); Gerado Cabrera-Meza, MD, BCM (co-author)

Masters thesis, The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston.

Abstract:

Although health care delivery through Community Health Workers (CHW) face many challenges, mobile technologies used as Point-of-Care (POC) systems promise improvement. The evaluation of such tools is complex due to the different kinds of variables involved and their different relative importance. We propose the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) as a valid tool for holistically evaluating such systems. Using the AHP, we reevaluated data obtained from a previous study that compares CHWs performance with and without a mobile POC system. We selected the variables that play a key role for evaluating CHW’s performance and weighed those variables according to their relative importance in three different clinical scenarios. This approach serves for decision makers when evaluating such multivariate problems. In our particular case, we found that CHWs using mobile POC systems perform better regardless of the complexity of the case.