Home-based records

Laura Nic Lochlainn

A home-based record is a health document on which an individual’s history of health services received is recorded. It is maintained in the household by an individual or their caregiver in either paper or electronic format and brought to health visits to be completed by a health worker. Many countries use a form of home-based record; however, they vary in complexity, content and design. Common types include antenatal notes, vaccination-only cards, more expanded child health booklets or vaccination-plus cards and comprehensive, integrated maternal and child health handbooks that usually include health promotion messages. Home-based records are also sometimes referred to as personal health records.

This page provides the following additional information on home-based records:

Repository of home-based records

This section provides a repository of home-based records that have been used in countries around the world. To view all home-based records from a particular country, select the country in the dropdown box. Alternatively, search for home-based records with particular characteristics, such as language, size, format, etc.

To share a home-based record that is not already in the repository, please add your home-based record as a PDF file here (requires TechNet account). If any information is incorrect, please contact the TechNet Moderator.

Information on home-based records

Home-based records are an important component of maternal, new-born and child health services, including immunization service delivery. When well-designed, available in adequate supply, widely adopted and appropriately utilized, home-based records complement facility-based records within routine health information systems by providing a standardized form for legibly recording an individual’s vaccination history and personal health information in an organized and consistent manner for future reference and review (more details on home-based records can be found here).

The World Health Organization recommends the use of home-based records, to complement health facility records, for the care of pregnant women, mothers, new-borns and children to improve care seeking behaviours, men’s involvement and support in the household, maternal and child home care practices, infant and child feeding, and communication between health workers and women, parents, and caregivers.

Home-based records serve as an important information resource to enhance health workers’ ability to make clinical decisions with the potential to enhance continuity of care and alleviate risks such as missed opportunities for delivering vaccination as well as unnecessarily re-vaccination that may be associated with absent or suboptimal documentation within health facilities.

Importantly, home-based records also serve as a point of reference around which health workers may start discussions with individuals or their caregivers and empower them to make informed decisions about their care or the care of their child.

Finally, because home-based records serve as a source of documented evidence of an individual’s vaccination history and health records, they play an important role beyond direct clinical care, including within quality-of-care management and public health monitoring through vaccination coverage surveys and maternal and child health information needs.

Unfortunately, the home-based record is often unable to fulfil its intended purpose due to implementation challenges like:

  • Stockouts, due to poor planning and logistics or lack of funds.
  • Inadequate use of home-based records by health workers.
  • Poor retention of home-based records by women, parents and caregivers.
  • Poor quality of home-based records.
  • The content and design may not meet the needs of the home-based record users.
  • Inequity (health workers may expect payment of home-based records, children may be denied school entry without the card, etc.)

In response to the existing implementation challenges, the guide “Strengthening implementation of home-based records for maternal, new-born and child health” was developed for country programme managers. It provides activities and decision-making tools to enhance processes for planning, selecting content, designing, implementing, and monitoring home-based records. The guide was published as a living document and any feedback to improve it can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or added to the forum discussion on home-based records.

As we continue to understand the reasons for the implementation challenges in order to identify solutions, we believe this site can be an important part of that process, and we look forward to its continued improvement.

Publications on home-based records

Journal articles on home-based records

Adapting home-based records for maternal and child health to users' capacities.Hirotsugu Aiga, Keiko OsakiJournal articleEnglish
Additional considerations for maternal and child health handbooks in light of WHO's recommendations on home-based records for maternal, newborn and child healthDavid W. Brown2019Journal articleEnglish
Are reminder stickers effective in reducing immunization dropout rates in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia?J. Pickering, Y. BerhaneJournal articleEnglish
Child Immunization Cards: Essential Yet Underutilized in National Immunization ProgrammesDavid W. Brown2012Journal articleEnglish
Effectiveness of home-based records on maternal, newborn and child health outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysisAlain D. Mayhew, Kednapa Thavorn, Kevin Pottie, Olivia Magwood, Sandy Oliver, Victoire Kpadé2019Journal articleEnglish
Home-based child vaccination records – A reflection on formDavid W. Brown, Marta Gacic-Dobo, Stacy L. YoungJournal articleEnglish
Home-based record (HBR) ownership and use of HBR recording fields in selected Kenyan communities: Results from the Kenya Missed Opportunities for Vaccination AssessmentCollins TABU, David W. Brown, Iheoma Ukachi Onuekwusi, Ikechukwu Udo OGBUANU, Isaac Mugoya, Kibet Sergon, Peter Okoth, Stephanie Shendale, Zorodzai MachekanyangaJournal articleEnglish
Home-based record prevalence among children aged 12–23 months from 180 demographic and health surveysDavid W. Brown, Marta Gacic-DoboJournal articleEnglish
Home-based records and vaccination appointment stickers as parental reminders to reduce vaccination dropout in Indonesia: A cluster-randomized controlled trialWallace AS et al.2019Journal articleEnglish
Home-based vaccination records and hypothetical cost savings due to avoidance of re-vaccinating childrenDavid W. Brown2014Journal articleEnglish
How Should Home-Based Maternal and Child Health Records Be Implemented? A Global Framework AnalysisElena T. Broaddus-Shea, Sruthi MahadevanJournal articleEnglish
Maternal and Child Health Handbook use for maternal and child care: a cluster randomized controlled study in rural Java, IndonesiaOSAKI K et al2018Journal articleEnglish
Nurses’ monitoring of the Road to Health Chart at primary healthcare level in Makhado, Limpopo provinceKitenge et al2013Journal articleEnglish
Occurrence of home-based record stock-outs-A quiet problem for national immunization programmes continuesDavid W. Brown, Marta Gacic-DoboJournal articleEnglish
Reported National Level Stock-Outs of Home-Based Records—A Quiet Problem for Immunization Programmes That Needs AttentionDavid W. Brown, Marta Gacic-DoboJournal articleEnglish
Results from a survey of national immunization programmes on home-based vaccination record practices in 2013Young SL et al.2015Journal articleEnglish
Revitalizing the Home-based Record: Reflections from an Innovative South-South Exchange for Optimizing the Quality, Availability and Use of Home-based Records in Immunization SystemsAndreas Hasman, Anna Rapp, David W. BrownJournal articleEnglish
The new Road to Health Booklet demands a paradigm shiftSlemming et al2018Journal articleEnglish
The role of home-based records in the establishment of a continuum of care for mothers- newborns- and children in Indonesia.Keiko Osaki, Tomoko HattoriJournal articleEnglish
The Use Of The Road To Health Card In Monitoring Child HealthTarwa et al2007Journal articleEnglish
Understanding women’s, caregivers’, and providers’ experiences with home-based records: A systematic review of qualitative studiesChinedu Oraka, Jennifer McWhirter, Kevin Pottie, Olivia Magwood, Ruh Afza, Sandy Oliver, Victoire Kpadé2018Journal articleEnglish
Where Do We Go From Here? Defining an Agenda for Home-Based Records Research and Action Considering the 2018 WHO GuidelinesDavid W. Brown, Lora Shimp, Xavier Bosch-CapblanchJournal articleEnglish

Forum discussions on home-based records

View all posts with "Home-based record" tag.

Link: https://technet-21.org/en/community/discussions/tags/home-based-records