Health Information is a key fundamental tool in providing effective and efficient health services to the public. It provides evidence base for decision making within the Ministry of Health.
Summary of Services
The HIS unit’s primary roles are as followers:
- Capture Health information – Health data are captured manually (on monthly reporting forms) from health facilities
- Stores Health information – Health data are stored in Health Information systems from Provincial health offices and National HIS office
- Manages health information – Analysis and production of different Health information report.
- Transmit and disseminate health information – Transmit and dissemination of health information for use in planning and to those who request health information for research purposes, etc.
The unit has few key functions or priority actions as stated in the HIS Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020. The key functions or priority actions are as follows:
- Establish a cross-sectoral HIS Committee – A Committee to overlook the work of HIS unit.
- Develop a set of endorsed data standards and definitions to ensure compliance
- Develop and endorse a core indicator set that aligns with global targets and meets local needs.
- Revise existing HIS reporting forms in all health facility types to reduce duplicate data collection and reduce ambiguity in meaning
- Appoint permanent HIS Officers at all levels
- Produce annual reports to government
- Undertake a review of the Hospital Information management System
- Incorporate HIS information into MOH planning/budgeting processes
- Dissemination of all HIS reports to managers and clinicians on a regular basis
- Allocate budget for the HIS unit at the national level and HIS activities at the provincial level with dedicated account codes for monitoring and evaluating HIS activities
- Develop health information policy in consultation with key stakeholders
- Improve reporting rates, quality of reporting and access to health information through expansion of Health Information Systems (HIS) reach into Hospitals and rural Health facilities and establishment of information technology links across a national network.
- Strengthen the Hospital reporting system through reviews and establishment of a Hospital Information Management System (HIMS) Investment Strategy to guide the work.
- Strengthening the information dissemination and use of health information
- Integration of information systems into the national VanPHIS database
- Increase recruitment of HIS Staff to national HIS office and other Provincial HIS offices without HIS staff.
Means of Service Delivery
In achieving the objectives listed above, the HIS unit undertake actions as stated in its 2016 – 2020 Strategy Plan. The actions area as followers:
- Revise existing HIS reporting forms in all health facility type to reduce duplicate data collection and reduce ambiguity in meaning. Then update the DHIS2 database to ensure all information needed for local and national indicator reporting is being collected in a standardize way – This year the HIS unit has started consultation on the review with the HIS forms with few programs and few partners. The revision of the form will continue in 2018
- Revise the current Hospital Information Management System (HIMS) and draft an Investment Strategy – A HIMS Investment Strategy has been approved by the MoH Executive Committee and the short term activities will commence in 2018
- Sharing of all HIS reports to Managers and Clinicians on a regular basis – HIS officers in each Provinces and hospitals provides HIS reports or data to Managers and Clinicians on demand. However, we have plans to improve on this action to ensure Monthly, quarterly, six monthly and yearly HIS reports are shared with Managers and Clinicians on a regular basis.
- Produce an annual report to government – Annually HIS produces a HIS report that was attached inside the MoH annual report and shared widely among managers, clinicians and the Ministry of Health.
- Integration of Malaria Information System (MIS) into the National VanPHIS2 database – This integration was done this year and currently MIS is using VanPHIS2 database for collecting and compiling Malaria data. Plans are to integrate other information systems (eg. Surveillance information system, TB information system, EPI information system and others) into the VanPHIS2 database in 2018
- Appoint HIS officers to fill vacant positions – This year with the assistance from World Health Organization (WHO) 3 positions were being filled within HIS unit. One of the position was for SHEFA Community Health HIS unit; the other two positions were for National HIS Data Coordination officer and HIS/IT support staff.