Belize's Health Information System (BHIS) provides Lessons Learned to Caribbean Countries

HMN Weekly Highlight

21 August 2009

From 17-19 August, the workshop “Belize Health Information System (BHIS): Lessons Learned to Strengthen National Health Information Systems in Barbados, Eastern Caribbean Countries, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago” was held in Belize City, Belize. Representatives from twelve countries came together to share experiences and lessons learned from the design and implementation of the BHIS as well as the strengthening process of their national health systems. Participants drafted a resolution for a joint approach to HIS strengthening among the countries with a preliminary action plan. The resolution suggests the use of HMN standards and tools to guide the national development of HIS with regional interoperability.

"The BHIS is a tool to create a better place for our people and to result in a healthier population through the collection and use of timely information", said Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health, Belize, "Information not used represents little value other than for academic purposes".

The BHIS is a fully integrated, comprehensive health information system designed to improve individual health outcomes and public health performance, and optimize resource utilization. It allows for patient-based data to be made available to authorized users anywhere in the country almost as soon as they are entered in the system. Belize, a HMN "Wave One" country, inaugurated its innovative Health Information System in September 2008.

The workshop was organized by the Belize and Eastern Caribbean Countries offices of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Belize, HMN and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.