Routine Health Information Systems

The global health community has come to understand more about the role that health information systems (HIS) play in improving global health. Even so, using data to make evidence-informed decisions is still weak in most low- and middle-income countries. This is particularly true for data produced by routine health information systems (RHIS).

RHIS are comprised of data collected at regular intervals at public, private, and community-level health facilities and institutions. The data give a picture of health status, health services, and health resources. Most of the data are gathered by healthcare providers as they go about their work, by supervisors, and through routine health facility surveys. The sources of those data are generally individual health records, records of services delivered, and records of health resources.

MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided technical and financial assistance for RHIS strengthening for more than 15 years. We have contributed to best practices at the global level, and to the strengthening of RHIS data collection, data quality, analysis, and use at the country level. One of the project’s mandates is to strengthen the collection, analysis, and use of these data to achieve high-quality health service delivery. When routine data are lacking, or are not used, the results can be lower-quality services, weak infection prevention and control responses, lack of skilled health workers available where they are needed, and weak supply chains for drugs and equipment. These factors contribute to poor health outcomes for people.

Our main strategic approaches for strengthening RHIS focus on developing and reinforcing a country’s long-term planning for an integrated HIS, which includes all data sources, health metrics, and tools. We also help to create district-managed and denominator-based RHIS at subnational levels.

Select RHIS tools have been developed in collaboration with partners of the Health Data Collaborative (HDC),  which is a partnership of international agencies, governments, philanthropic organizations, donors, and academics, with the common aim of improving health data. 

Related Content:

Use of Technology to Manage Health Data in Rivers State, Nigeria: A Qualitative Study on Family Planning and Routine Health Information Systems

Routine Health Information Systems Curriculum

Gender-Integrated Routine Data Quality Assessment (RDQA+G) Tool

Other MEASURE Evaluation RHIS resources include:

RHIS Tools

RHIS Networks

  • RELACSIS - a network for Spanish-speaking professionals working to strengthen health information systems
  • RHINO - the Routine Health Information Network

MEASURE Evaluation Factsheet Series: RHIS