Key Elements of a Health Information System
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Health information systems store, manage and communicate information.
Key Elements of a Health Information Systems
A well-functioning HIS is an integrated effort to collect, process, report and use health information to influence policy and programme decision-making.
At a policy level, decisions informed by evidence contribute to more efficient use of resources and, at the delivery level, provide information about the quality and effectiveness of services.
A well-functioning health information system should:
- Generate and compile information from service delivery points to district level routine information systems, disease surveillance systems, and also laboratory/procurement information systems, hospital patient administration systems and human resource management information systems.
- Detect events that threaten public health security.
- Analyse, synthesise and communicate information for use in planning and implementation.
Figure: The Six Components of a Health Information System; Health Metrics Network; ‘Framework and Standards for Country Health Information Systems ‘WHO 2012
Health information system resources: These consist of the legislative, regulatory, and planning frameworks required to ensure a fully functioning HIS, and the resources that are required for such a system to be functional, such as personnel, financing, information and communications technology (ICT) etc.
Indicators: A core set of indicators and related targets is the basis for an HIS plan and strategy. Indicators need to encompass determinants of health; health system inputs, outputs, and outcomes; and health status.
Data sources: including population-based approaches (censuses, surveys and civil registration) and institution-based data (individual records, service records, and resource records). Additional there is a information from occasional health surveys, research, and information produced by community based organizations (CBOs).
Data management: collection, storage, quality-assurance, flow, processing, compilation, and analysis of data.
Information products: Data must be transformed into information that will become the basis for evidence and decision making.
Dissemination and use: The value of health information can be enhanced by making it readily accessible to decision makers.
- Assess the country requirements based on the national health strategy and priorities.
- Support the development of national Health Information Strategies.
- Support the design of a more integrated system.
- Implement electronic Patient Management Systems (ePMS) and/or District Health Information Systems (DHIS) and/or Logistics Management Information Systems (LMIS).
- Assess needs for other elements of a comprehensive HIS, such as Logistics Management Information Systems (LMIS) or Human Resource Management Information Systems.
- Support the integration and harmonisation of data management systems, to reduce silos.
Suggested Capacity Development Indicators
- National Health Information Strategy in place, with supporting M&E Plan
- Comprehensiveness of health data captures: prevalence, incidence, qualitative social and behavioural data, disaggregated by age and gender
- Percentage of districts that submit timely, complete and accurate reports to national level
- Percentage of facilities that submit timely, complete and accurate reports to district level
- Level of use of data collection systems for studies and evaluations
- Level of integration of health data into management and forecasting reports and processes