Health Information Systems Infographics

Health systems rely on health data so policy makers can understand what health issues people are facing in a given country, what health programs are working, what resources are available, and what changes should be made to optimize health.

The systems that produce this data are health information systems (HIS). They are as complex as the overall health systems they support; and they comprise data collected from the smallest health clinic to the national health ministry. Because HIS are complex, many issues of data quality and thoroughness often arise. Moreover, data cover a myriad of topics: how many babies are born in a district, how many people get sick from malaria, how many stocks of medicines are available right now. And, to further complicate matters, data move back and forth: from a health facility to a district office and back to the facility; from the district level to a national database.

Further, to be of any use in improving health, data collection is not enough. Someone must check their quality; someone must aggregate data from many sources; someone must analyze what the data are saying. Then, someone must put this learning to good use.

The operation and interaction that occur daily within an HIS is sometimes easier to grasp in visual terms. This collection of graphics tells part of the story of how an HIS performs and what it can contribute to health improvements. 

A Stronger Health Information System Means a Healthier Country

Map of Data Flow in Health Information Systems (a series):

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