HRHIS in Tanzania
The Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) identified health workforce information as a key area needing to be strengthened for fast tracking implementation of its Human Resource Strategic Plan. In order to address this need, HRHIS (Human resource for health information system) was implemented as an effort to improve human resources for health (HRH) management. A situation analysis indicated the existence of several databases within and outside the ministry dealing with HRH, That too, with similar information fields. It was agreed these sources should be harmonized, and housed under Health Management Information System (HMIS) for consistency. The HRHIS software thus became part of the HMIS and was fully integrated with the District Health Information System (DHIS) software with the help of import/export mechanisms.
The HRHIS was built using free and open source technologies PHP (server scripting language), PostgreSQL (database management system) running on multi-platform (Windows, Linux) architecture, and designed to be user-friendly, hence allowing administrators or authorized users to add additional elements when new needs arise. The initial database was populated with the minimum dataset as requested by the MOHSW.
The HRHIS provided import/output mechanisms for data at different levels, this includes: national, regional, district or facility level. It was designed to provide flexibility to the following:
- Capture and store health personnel's data and history by organizational unit, cadre, and other characteristics;
- Add any number of datasets or elements required by any sector (such as the central health ministry, local governments, civil services or private providers);
- Update organizational unit details according to users' requirements (e.g. allowing additional regions, districts and health facilities to be added dynamically without entering into system codes);
- Generate web-enabled reports in different formats (general and aggregated), including graphical reporting.
The HRHIS system was developed with high security measures for protecting the data entered, since human resource information/data are personal and confidential. Security measures include a login mechanism such that only authorized personnel can use the system, and also a Users Administration functionality which allows the system administrator to limit users' access to certain functions.