IntraHealth Advances Health Workforce Data Use in Zimbabwe and Globally

Two new awards from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help IntraHealth International improve health workforce information and its use in countries around the world.

Many countries suffer from critical shortages of both health workers and data on their health workforces. For countries to achieve universal health coverage and increase access to high-quality family planning, HIV, and other health services, health leaders need to know how many health workers are available, where they are deployed, what their skills are, and  more.

Since 2005, IntraHealth has worked with more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Central America to build strong human resources information systems (HRIS) to give leaders a better understanding of their health workforces. IntraHealth developed and continues to support iHRIS (pronounced “iris”), our free, open source HRIS software that:

  • Supplies critical workforce data
  • Enhances health workforce management
  • Makes health worker education more effective
  • Helps leaders plan for recruitment and retention.

IntraHealth also works to integrate iHRIS and other HRIS into each country’s overall health information system, to ensure health workforce data can be aggregated with other health information, including clinical service data, for more detailed analysis. 

IntraHealth’s new work: 

Integrate Professional Health Council Information in Zimbabwe

IntraHealth is part of the winning team for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded HRIS/Open Health Information Enterprise Architecture project in Zimbabwe. This five-year $2,250,000 award led by Health Informatics Training and Research Advancement Centre will strengthen health workforce management by improving the functionality and use of Zimbabwe’s existing HRIS. IntraHealth’s role on the project is to integrate databases at the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Human Resources Department with all seven health professional regulatory councils. This will allow the ministry and councils to readily share the information they each manage on health workers, such as deployment and qualifications, to ensure Zimbabwe’s health workforce meets the needs of its health system.  

Advance a Standard Health Worker Registry for All Countries

The Open Health Information Exchange, or OpenHIE, is a set of emerging technologies that enable health information systems—including iHRIS and other HRIS—to easily share data with each other.

As a key contributor to the OpenHIE community, IntraHealth helps develop standards, guidance, and technology for the OpenHIE Health Worker Registry, which provides a big-picture view of countries’ health workforces by aggregating data from various health information systems in both the private and public sectors.

With funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IntraHealth will continue to develop the OpenHIE Health Worker Registry Community of technologists from around the world who understand and can apply OpenHIE principles. The community is currently supporting the deployment of the OpenHIE Health Worker Registry in Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. We will also work on the next version of OpenHIE to include mHealth technology for communicating with health workers and clients.

Related: New Version of iHRIS Improves Health Workforce Data Presentation and Usability 

IntraHealth’s portfolio of health workforce informatics programs is led by Carl Leitner, associate director, health workforce informatics.