SA National Department of Health

Project focus: Develop and manage a data warehouse that integrates routine health data, socio-economic data and financial data for improved healthcare programming. The South African National Health Department has recognised that despite a variety of sources of information available to managers, data is still not easily accessible, is often not integrated, and as a result is not utilised as frequently and intensively as it should be to inform decision making.

HISP-SA successfully conceptualised, designed, developed and deployed the NHIRD system, a web-based health information repository that supports information use in preparation for the development of the National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

The NHIRD uses advanced business intelligence methodologies, applied to health data stored in a “data warehouse,” to improve managers’ understanding of service delivery trends. The warehouse integrates data from various specialist information systems, such as demographic and health surveys, the District Health Expenditure Review publication, Statistics South Africa surveys and population-based data, and DHIS2 databases.

The software then applies sophisticated data analysis and GIS techniques to the data to creates dynamic data visualisations, highlighting comparisons, trends and relationships. This data empowers managers with an understanding of the status of health services from multiple perspectives, allowing them to make more effective decisions in healthcare programmes and resource allocations. This has led to increased understanding of the value of information and e-health initiatives for health programming, especially among health managers, which in turn has led to improved data use.


  • We developed and implemented the NHIRD data warehouse to support relevant decisions in relation to NHI implementation and service delivery planning.
  • We provide data analysis and data quality improvement support to the implementation of the Health Patient and Health Provider Registration Systems (HPRS).
  • We provide technical support to NHI work streams.
  • We supported the development of the enterprise architecture for the implementation of patient based information systems.
  • We ensure that the data in the NHIRD is of the highest quality.
  • We train and mentor national, provincial and district health staff on the use of the NHIRD, data quality improvement and how to best use the data to improve their programmes.