Strengthening Capacity for Health Information Systems Sustainably

Through the Strengthening Capacity for Health Information Systems Sustainably (SCHISS) project, IHM is collaborating with the Zambian Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to implement a data-driven national health response. Supported by funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the project aims to refine and innovate the national health information system, SmartCare, aligning it with key national public health priorities.

 This initiative is a collaborative effort aimed at enhancing the healthcare landscape in Zambia by bolstering the country’s electronic health record system. Effective health information systems are crucial for informed decision-making, resource allocation, and ultimately, improving the overall health and well-being of the population.

Key Objectives:

  1. Enhance Data Visibility: Improving the visibility of health data at various levels of the healthcare system is a cornerstone of SCHISS.  It encompasses the accessibility, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of healthcare data. Comprehensive and readily available data empower healthcare professionals and policymakers to make informed decisions.

  2. Capacity Building: Strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers and professionals in Zambia is a primary focus. Through training programs we aim to equip individuals with the skills needed to manage and utilize health information effectively.

  3. Infrastructure Development: Upgrading the technological infrastructure is crucial for efficient data management. The SCHISS project is investing in the necessary hardware and software to support a robust health information system.

  4. Data Security and Privacy: Ensuring the security and privacy of health data is paramount. Stringent measures are being put in place to safeguard sensitive information and comply with international data protection standards.

  5. Interoperability: Achieving seamless integration of various health information systems is a priority. This will enable efficient data sharing and collaboration among different healthcare departments, facilities and stakeholders.

Impact and Benefits: The SCHISS project is expected to yield several significant benefits, including:

  • Improved Healthcare Decision-Making: Accurate and up-to-date health data will empower policymakers and healthcare providers to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively.

  • Enhanced Healthcare Delivery: Health information systems will streamline patient care, reducing administrative burdens and ensuring that patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

  • Disease Surveillance and Response: Timely and accurate data will enable rapid responses to disease outbreaks, improving public health outcomes and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Research and Innovation: Access to comprehensive health data will stimulate research and innovation in the healthcare sector, leading to better treatments and interventions.

The Health Information System (HIS) serves as a crucial tool for assessing the quality of health services and program performance. It is aligned with the national e-Health Strategy 2022-2026, which promotes the effective and efficient use of information technology to facilitate equitable access to cost-effective, quality healthcare services for families in Zambia. The SCHISS project plays a pivotal role in strengthening the HIS and advancing healthcare delivery in the country.