The purpose of a health information system (HIS) is to get data into the hands of decision makers at all levels of the health system to improve the availability and quality of care. According to the HIS Strengthening Model, HIS strengthening interventions improve HIS performance, which leads to health systems better suited to meet the needs of the population.
For future planning, it’s important that the effects of specific interventions to improve HIS are well-documented along with impacts on health systems. These syntheses are discrete studies of packages of HIS interventions and their effect on improving health systems.
For example, one synthesis documents how streamlining health systems indicators for M&E reduces redundancies in data collection, thereby easing the data collection burden on people whose main job is to provide high-quality healthcare. Another examines how functioning community-based referral systems can improve linkages to care in rural areas, improving continuity of care for orphans and vulnerable children. And another focuses on how strengthening feedback loops and data quality checks improves detection of infectious disease outbreaks, such as Ebola. These examples in this collection of syntheses makes a case for ongoing investments in evidence-based interventions.