What is iHTP Used For?
Health services aim to protect or improve health. However, whether they do so effectively
depends on which services are provided and how they are delivered and organized.
Resources should be used for
interventions that are known to be effective, in accordance
with national or local priorities. Because resources are limited, there will always
be some form of rationing but prices should not be the chief way to determine who
gets what care (World Health Report 2000, World Health Organization).
health service delivery because its simulation tool systematically demonstrates--with
thorough input data anchored in national priorities--to decision-makers which services
are necessary and cost-effective given available resources. Furthermore, it does
so without using price as the sole aspect of planning—instead, the simulation tool
integrates information on patient demographics and disease profiles to successfully
embed local needs and priorities to a resource and costing analysis.
care efficiently requires financial resources to be properly balanced among the
many inputs used to deliver health services (World Health Report 2000, World Health
Organization). IHTP basically performs this balancing act once all of the essential
input data are in. For example, large numbers of staff does not improve health service
delivery without adequately built, equipped and supplied facilities. Available resources
should thus be allocated both to investments in new skills, facilities and equipment,
and to maintenance of the existing infrastructure (World Health Report 2000, World
Health Organization). IHTP synthesizes these needs and renders decision-makers with
output information that allows discernment on which investment is effective at what
time, at what cost and with which technologies. In order to reduce the risk of future
imbalances, new investment choices must be made
carefully and the existing mix of
inputs needs to be monitored on a regular basis. (World Health Report 2000, World
Health Organization). IHTP shows resource planners several possibilities on where
to focus their new investments in addition to possible outcomes; this gives them
the necessary information to make an appropriate decision. The IHTP implementation
program also envisions regular monitoring and evaluation sessions after new investment
decisions have been made; this allows for revision of these choices if necessary,
with new simulation models and new input data.
Health service delivery is greatly
improved by IHTP’s inevitable horizontal integration through coordination of services.
If, for example, IHTP is being used for the maternity ward and a neonatal care unit in the same region, services for measuring the baby’s weight need not be taught
twice. IHTP identifies similarities of different programs and provides a coordinating
capacity, thus reducing costs. The IHTP projects in the past have also demonstrated
a consolidation capacity by agreeing on standard practice with each of the various
groups involved—whether it be between two hospital departments or between non-governmental
organization (NGOs) or United Nations (UN) agencies.
The rapidly changing and increasingly
complex health services industry poses significant challenges for health services
management, responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and supervising the
delivery of healthcare. Improving service delivery and ensuring better access, complicated
by technological advance and changes in demography and epidemiology, must involve
all the major stakeholders in the health system - the policymakers in ministries
of health and public administration, health service managers and workers, public
and private providers and clients and communities themselves (http://www.eldis.org/
healthsystems/delivery/). IHTP amalgamates the issues of technology, demography
and epidemiology into one system for simple comprehension by all various stakeholder
to enable them to make more informed decisions and ameliorate health services.