Strengthening the Health Management Information System (HMIS) in Thai Nguyen Province, Vietnam
Council researchers evaluated and are working to improve Thai Nguyen's HMIS through developing a computerized HMIS, using software to improve the accuracy of the health data collected, and increasing use of HMIS data to improve health care.
A key challenge for the health sector in Thai Nguyen is addressing the deficiency in health outcomes and health care equity among vulnerable populations. However, understanding of these problems is limited because of a lack of accurate information.
The current manual record-keeping system is inaccurate and slow, limiting the Thai Nguyen Health Department (TNHD) in using data efficiently and effectively for evidence-based planning and decisionmaking.
In partnership with the TNHD; Hi-Technology Services Providing and Solutions Company; Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy; the Institute for Population, Health and Development; and Hanoi Medical University, Council researchers are working to improve the evidence base available to health authorities and to use that evidence to improve health in Thai Nguyen Province. This project has three main components:
- Developing a computerized, commune-based HMIS to generate regular reports for district, province, and national levels, and producing reports to support health care providers and managers. The HMIS is expected to be fully operational in 2012.
- Supporting research and research capability in the province to better understand health problems, health-seeking behaviors, and health services.
- Increasing the capability of managers and providers in the TNHD to better use the evidence generated to improve health care.
The Council is helping facilitate the transition from labor-intensive manual data recording and reporting at all 180 commune health centers in the province to a computerized HMIS. It is also promoting software to gather data faster and more accurately so that it can be used in evidence-based health care planning and policy development.
The Council-developed software is the first package that manages health information from the commune level and has the capability of linking to district- and provincial-level systems. This software:
- Links to up-to-date population data and provides denominators for current ongoing health measures and indicators;
- Manages information on health care, health programs, drugs, and equipment;
- Automatically generates reports for Vietnam's Ministry of Health; and
- Complies with Health Level Seven International (HL7) standards enabling the possibility of exchanging information with other software.
Population Council staff in Vietnam also aim to build the capacity of HMIS users and of the TNHD in developing evidence-based policy and planning by:
- Establishing the Evidence Base Unit at the provincial health department for data analysis and use of data for planning;
- Building an information technology team based at the provincial health department; and
- Working with a local software company to provide continued software support for the commune health centers.
The techniques and procedures generated by the project are intended to be scaled up for use throughout Vietnam.
Using evidence to improve primary health care in Thai Nguyen Province (PDF)
Publication date: 2011
Location: Vietnam (Thai Nguyen Province)
Strengthening health systems
Duration: 3/2009 - 3/2012
Population Council researchers:
Hanoi Medical University
Hi-Technology Services Providing and Solutions Company
Institute for Population, Health and Development
Thai Nguyen Health Department
Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy
The Atlantic Philanthropies