Health information systems

Health information systems

In many countries, Health Information Systems (HIS) systems face flaws that have an effect on the use of quality information and evidence-based decision making. HIS performance is influenced by technical, organizational and human resource capacity determinants (PRISM Framework, Measure 2008).

In many instances, the coverage and quality of routine data collection systems are a challenge, starting at the point of data collection in a community or at the health facility. Apart from fragmented systems, also the capacity to capture data in a computer or manually, conduct quality and consistency checks, analyze and report, let alone provide feedback and determine the validity of the data,  is usually weak – in particular at the lower levels of the data flow chain.

The role of e-HIS is becoming more and more important. On the one hand, electronic systems may solve many of the problems manual paper-based and semi-manual systems face. On the other hand, electronic solutions also face a multitude of challenges in design, implementation and maintenance.

We have ample experience and know-how in the design and implementation of routine data collection systems in health, as stand-alone systems (e.g. DHIS) or embedded in results-based financing approaches, including the introduction of electronic solutions for HIS in health. Among other technical advisory assignments, we have appraised and reviewed the national HIS in Zambia, Bangladesh and India (urban health care) and set-up routine monitoring for the EU/UNFPA Reproductive Health Initiative in Asia ( 7 countries).