Health Information System Strengthening: Standards and Best Practices

Standards and best practices for HIS system strengthening data sources

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The purpose of this guide is to help health authorities and health information officers align health information system (HIS) data sources with standards and best practices, to ensure that reliable data produce comparable statistics at all levels of the health system.

Download the full guide.


Although standards and best practices are continuously evolving, countries’ ongoing efforts to align data sources will increase the HIS efficiency to monitor population health status and health service delivery, identify health inequalities, and allocate health finances to achieve universal healthcare. Aligning data sources will also improve the quality of national-level indicators used for benchmarking a country relative to others and facilitate participation in global development goals. Perhaps most importantly, HIS stakeholders will have increased confidence in the statistics that the system generates. 

This guide is primarily directed to national health authorities and health information officers in ministries of health. It may also be informative for a wider range of technical and policy-oriented professionals. Each HIS data source module summarizes best practices and standards for data from that source, and offers additional references to tools and resources. The guide can be downloaded in its entirety (here) or by module (below).

The twelve modules, along with a brief explanation of each source, follow:

Module 1: Individual Records. These are a source of patient-level data on diagnoses and service interventions.

Module 2: Health Infrastructure Information System. These are a source of health facility data on infrastructure and services.

Module 3: Human Resources for Health Information System. These are a source of health personnel data and the types of health occupations.

Module 4: Logistics Management Information System. These are a source of data on the availability and cost of essential medicines and health commodities.

Module 5: Financial Management Information System. These are a source of financial data on budget estimates and revenues and expenditures.

Module 6: Health Facility Assessments. These are a source of data on the readiness of facilities to provide services.

Module 7: Population Censuses. These are a source of data for estimates of the population exposed to risk or service coverage.

Module 8: Population-Based Surveys. These are a source of health and socioeconomic data at the household and individual level.

Module 9A: Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System: Registration of Events.
Module 9B: Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System: Certification of Cause of Death. These are a source of birth, death, stillbirth, and cause of death data.

Module 10: Public Health Surveillance System. These are a source of data on reportable diseases conditions and threats to public health.

Module 11: Collective Intervention Records. These are a source of data on services that target the general population.

Module 12: Health Accounts. These are a source of expenditure data by financer, provider, and type of healthcare consumed.

Zip file containing all of the above modules

For more resources related to strengthening health information systems, visit MEASURE Evaluation's Health Information System Strengthening Resource Center: https://www.measureevaluation.org/his-strengthening-resource-center.