Improving Continuity of Care by Strengthening Health Information Systems

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Author(s): MEASURE Evaluation

Year: 2017

Improving Continuity of Care by Strengthening Health Information Systems Abstract:

Health information systems (HIS) represent a significant investment for groups that require evidence for accountability and informed decision making. Despite a compelling need for robust evidence of HIS function, these systems have not traditionally been a subject for rigorous study and evaluation. That lack limits learning, sharing, and cultivating best practices that can be shared more widely.

MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, developed an HIS Learning Agenda, to justify and build an evidence base for which investments in HIS are effective and useful and explore what works to strengthen HIS. For the Learning Agenda, we seek to answer questions such as these: What are the factors and stages of progress in HIS performance and how are they measured? And what are the characteristics of a strong HIS? The project is also implementing activities to build the evidence base on HIS strengthening. We hope our efforts will contribute to evidence-informed global work to strengthen HIS and health outcomes.

One of the many questions that arise in linking improvements to HIS to improved health outcomes is the aspect of coherent client care, or “continuity of care (COC).” COC is the process of providing good-quality healthcare, over time, to a client. 

One activity in MEASURE Evaluation’s Learning Agenda is to synthesize what we know so far about how to strengthen HIS and the effects of those efforts. The focus of this synthesis report—which is one of a series—is to document what we are learning about how stronger HIS may improve COC for clients. Here we review what we know now about the effects of HIS strengthening on COC and what areas need research.

Filed under: Health Systems Strengthening , Health Information Systems , Learning agenda , Continuity of Care