Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jennifer P. Ruger

Second Advisor

Achyuta R. Adhvaryu

Abstract

Health Management Information System (HMIS) is a specially designed information system that assists in the management and planning of health programs, within the overall national Health Information System (HIS) that integrates data collection, processing, reporting and use of information to improve health service effectiveness and efficiency through better management at all levels, for all actors and institutions. HMIS plays a fundamental role in the overall HIS through organizing and streamlining the business processes of health programs and links the purchasers and providers.

In this study, data was collected through case study methods during a field visit to the Vientiane Province. Observations and interviews were conducted during site visits to the central processing offices (CPOs) of the insurance schemes and Vientiane government health facilities. Results show that the existing HIS is fragmented, unstandardized and repetitive because the HMIS processes are disparate and operate separately around the individual needs of the different insurance schemes. Analysis of results from the case study in Vientiane, Lao PDR points to three major underlying issues that must be addressed across the central, provincial and district levels of management and among the insurance CPOs - 1) lack of HIS awareness and collaboration, 2) need for coordination of international donor agencies and respective data requirements, and 3) need for capacity building to properly support and execute HMIS processes.

The development and implementation of a HMIS is particularly important in the current landscape of Lao PDR, with the recent National Merger of the insurance schemes. Effective integration of HMIS processes, will contribute to the Lao PDR vision towards developing "a unified HIS to provide timely, high quality, evidence-based information for policy formulation, decision making, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation for all national and international health stakeholders by 2015."

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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