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Design and Implementation of Health Information Systems
edited by T. Lippeveld, R. Sauerborn and C. Bodart
2000, xi + 270 pages (English; French in preparation)
ISBN 92 4 156199 8
Sw.fr. 70./US $63.00; in developing countries: Sw.fr. 49.
Order no. 1150479
This book provides a practical guide to the design and implementation of health information systems in developing countries. Noting that most existing systems fail to deliver timely, reliable, and relevant information, the book responds to the urgent need to restructure systems and make them work as both a resource for routine decisions and a powerful tool for improving health services. With this need in mind, the authors draw on their extensive personal experiences to map out strategies, pinpoint common pitfalls, and guide readers through a host of conceptual and technical options. Information needs at all levels from patient care to management of the national health system are considered in this comprehensive guide.
Recommended lines of action are specific to conditions seen in government-managed health systems in the developing world. In view of common constraints on time and resources, the book concentrates on strategies that do not require large resources, highly trained staff, or complex equipment.
Throughout the book, case studies and numerous practical examples are used to explore problems and illustrate solutions. Details range from a list of weaknesses that plague most existing systems, through advice on when to introduce computers and how to choose appropriate software and hardware, to the hotly debated question of whether patient records should be kept by the patient or filed at the health unit.
The book has fourteen chapters presented in four parts. Chapters in the first part, on information for decision-making, explain the potential role of health information as a managerial tool, consider the reasons why this potential is rarely realized, and propose general approaches for reform which have proved successful in several developing countries. Presentation of a six-step procedure for restructuring information systems, closely linked to an organizational model of health services, is followed by a practical discussion of the decision-making process. Reasons for the failure of most health information to influence decisions are also critically assessed.
Against this background, the second and most extensive part provides a step-by-step guide to the restructuring of information systems aimed at improving the quality and relevance of data and ensuring their better use in planning and management. Steps covered include the identification of information needs and indicators, assessment of the existing system, and the collection of both routine and non-routine data using recommended procedures and instruments. Chapters also offer advice on procedures for data transmission and processing, and discuss the requirements of systems designed to collect population-based community information.
Resource needs and technical tools are addressed in part three. A comprehensive overview of the resource base from staff and training to the purchase and maintenance of equipment is followed by chapters offering advice on the introduction of computerized systems in developing countries, and explaining the many applications of geographic information systems.
Practical advice on how to restructure a health information system is provided in the final part, which considers how different interest groups can influence the design and implementation of a new system, and proposes various design options for overcoming specific problems. Experiences from several developing countries are used to illustrate strategies and designs in terms of those almost certain to fail and those that have the greatest chances of success.
Setting up Healthcare Services Information Systems
This book discusses the implementation of information systems and the application of information technology in terms of the requirements in health care services, and provides a comprehensive review of information systems and information technology solutions.