Routine Health Information Systems: A Curriculum on Basic Concepts and Practice - Syllabus
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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation
A strong health information system (HIS) that produces reliable, timely, and good-quality data is among several factors enabling health program managers to monitor, evaluate, and improve health system performance and make evidence-informed decisions. Since the 1990s, knowledge and understanding of the role of HIS development in global health systems have improved. Despite this, use of information for evidence-informed decision making—particularly data produced by routine health information systems (RHIS)—is still very weak in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Routine health information systems (also called health facility and community information systems) generate data at regular intervals (no longer than a year) that have been collected at public and private health facilities and institutions, as well as at community-level healthcare posts and clinics. Most of the data, which document health status, health services, and health resources, are gathered by healthcare providers as they go about their work, but supervisors and ongoing health facility surveys contribute information, as well.
To improve RHIS and ultimately, health outcomes, a global group of experts developed this basic course on RHIS in 2015–2016 and pilot-tested it in New Delhi in June 2016. The course responds to an immense and urgent need to build the capacity of the health workforce in LMICs. Its purpose is to enhance participants’ capacity to conceptualize, design, develop, govern, and manage an RHIS, and use the information the system generates to improve public health practice and service delivery.
In this core course, students will study the design, implementation, and strengthening of RHIS, which is the most common source of information on health services management and programs. An RHIS also provides regular information for many core indicators of the national health strategy. Using practical case studies, participants will learn how to improve the performance of an RHIS, by producing reliable data to inform decisions at all levels of the health system. They will also come to understand the important contribution of information and communication technology (ICT).
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