Developing Hospital Management Information Systems - February 2007

RHINO Forum on Developing Hospital Management Information Systems

Moderated By: Dr. Vincent Shaw from (Health Information Systems Program (HISP))

February 12-16, 2007


The first RHINO network forum for 2007 commenced in the week of February 12- 16. The forum sought to highlight strategies that have contributed to the development of successful management information systems in district hospitals. We defined a hospital management information system as the "secondary health information [1]" (the data that is extracted from the patient-health care worker interaction) for management purposes, whether this is at the ward or at the clinic, or at the hospital level. The motivation for this focus is provided by the fact that despite huge investments in sophisticated clinical information systems, these seldom provide quality of care data or accurate managerial data. Rather we see clinicians, managers and researchers developing their own (duplicate) systems to provide the information that they need [2-4].

Essential datasets: "Less is Lovely"

The forum started off with a question by Jon Rohde: "Many hospital Electronic Medical Record Systems have been installed - at best they allow retrieval of individual patient information but rarely do they have capacity to generate relevant data for managers… hopefully, a forum like this could identify USEFUL indicators that can and should be calculated from ANY EMR system and fed to managers for oversight and decision making." Mark Spohr echoed this call, and suggested that exiting systems and datasets did not specifically cater to the needs of the "information users"—rather systems were put in place that demanded that the clinicians spend time filling out forms for information that they were unlikely to use themselves!

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