What are the characteristics of a strong HIS?

What are the characteristics of a strong HIS?

A strong health information system (HIS) will be particular to the population and the government environment it serves. However, general characteristics common to all strong HIS can be observed and measured, and efforts made to strengthen them. The four categories of characteristics of a strong HIS are described below and in a longer paper.

Well-defined: Has a strategy with standards and principles; defined health indicators and data sources used consistently; a user-friendly structure; and standard operating procedures for data collection, analysis, and use.

Comprehensive: Captures and monitors all health services and functions (e.g., medicines, human resources, technology); includes all levels of the health system; encompasses all data sources (e.g., routine records, population surveys, civil registration and vital statistics).

Functional: Uses appropriate technology (including paper records) for the context; has a plan for data quality checks and strategies for using and sharing data; has appropriate training for health workers.

Adaptable and scalable: Has the in-country capacity to redesign, reform, expand, or roll out the HIS through procedures and standards which govern the regular review of evolving health sector information needs, measures to support sustainability, ongoing human capacity building, and methods to evaluate new interventions.

Resilient: Is able to withstand social, political, and biological crises through mechanisms for resilience, coordination with other health system functions, and regular assessments to determine system capacities and weaknesses.

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