What We Do
We aim to achieve our vision through activities in the following focus areas:
Innovative (unique) solutions for HIS strengthening
Because we are part of the global HISP network of health information practitioners, we are exposed to a wide variety of contexts in which health information systems are developed and implemented. Through this exposure, we are able to share lessons learnt and distil best practices from a range of different countries and environments.
Within the HISP network we have teams that focus on particular types of technology, such as the mHealth team that focus on the adoption and use of mobiles for reporting routine and epidemic data, or the Hospital Information Systems team that focuses on the development of a simple hospital based information system. Our software developers work on innovations related to data storage, analysis, and use in both databases, web-based reporting systems, and GIS systems.
HIS support interventions for PHC and Hospitals
Over the years, we have developed a range of tools and approaches for strengthening health information systems in resource constrained PHC or hospital settings.
Our in depth knowledge about the functioning of routine information systems allows us to offer tailored services in individual settings. This ranges from understanding the data collection and collation process, to improving data quality through data quality checks and audits, to the development of an integrated and essential National Indicator Data Set (NIDS). Our team has extensive experience in the analysis and use of information, and in particular in innovative ways to present and display data.
Our software development team have played a leading role in the development of the free and open source District Health Information Software (DHIS) version 1.4. In 2006, the HISP Team was awarded the second Artful Integrators’ Award by the Participatory Design Conference for its participatory action research and design across country and community contexts.
The DHIS is a multi-language enabled software system that has been deployed in many countries. Over the years it has been expanded to incorporate a number of modules related to patient care, client satisfaction surveys, disease surveillance, core standards and measures, and web-based reporting. The HISP-SA software development team are now structuring themselves to become more involved in DHIS2 development. This version is both database and platform independent, and supports web-based data collection and analysis.
Capacity building (TMS: Training, Mentoring and Support)
We firmly believe in the principle of developing local capacity and transferring skill and knowledge in all our activities. To this end all of our projects have a large training and skills transfer component. We have established a training unit that can provide specific training courses on request. HISP-SA has been responsible for the provision of academic courses both through the University of Western Cape and recently with the University of Pretoria. Since 2000 we have been a key role player in providing short courses in South Africa at the University of Western Cape School of Public Health Winter (and previously Summer) School such as:
- Using Information to Manage Hospitals
- Using Information to Improve Financial Management
- DHIS Foundation, Advanced and Super-User Courses
- GIS courses
In addition to the above, HISP-SA has developed other training courses that are offered throughout the year to both the DoH and other organisations:
- Advanced DHIS courses on specific issues like the Import/Export process, Creating Pivot tables, etc
- Reporting DHIS data
- M&E for Program Managers
Our team members have also contributed to training at other universities such as the University of Oslo, University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique, and Universities of Addis Ababa and Gondar in Ethiopia.
The DHIS is primarily of use to governments looking to improve the quality of their healthcare services through informed decisions, based on data collected throughout their healthcare provision chain.
In this respect, HISP South Africa is active throughout Africa – working with health ministries in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Uganda.
DHIS is in use throughout the world, however – and HISP globally is active in Asia through HISP Kerala (India) in Vietnam, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines (amongst other countries), and expanding. In addition, HISP Norway is making inroads into South America with DHIS 2.0.
(Web) Server-based, written in Java™. Runs on any platform that is Java™-capable. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS recommended.
Uses SQL-style Open-Source database engine, such as PostgreSQL or MySQL.
Clients (including mobile devises) require only a browser and an Internet connection!
Cutting-edge, interoperable technology ideal for national/unified data architecture, with rapid & secure access to powerful reporting and analytics tools.
Windows® Desktop PC-based, written in VB/VBA. Runs on Windows® XP or better and Microsoft® Access® 2003/2007/2010.
Uses Access® .MDB database files for storing, exporting, importing and merging data.
Mature, feature-filled technology, offering powerful reporting capabilities. Wide range of modules and additional features.
Distributed database structure is ideal for remote areas without access to Internet or poor communications infrastructure.