Front-line health workers in remote health facilities are the first contact of the formal health sector and are confronted with life-saving decisions. Health information systems (HIS) support the collection and use of health related data. However, HIS focus on reporting and are unfit to support decisions. Since data tools are paper-based in most primary healthcare settings, we have produced an innovative Paper-based Health Information System in Comprehensive Care (PHISICC) using a human-centred design approach. We are carrying out a cluster randomised controlled trial in three African countries to assess the effects of PHISICC compared with the current systems.