HIS as a Source of HIV data
Health information systems (HIS) are important tools in combatting the HIV epidemic, from the individual to the population level. Electronic health records contain individual patient information that helps clinicians provide high-quality care and can improve continuity of care across services and institutions. Laboratory information systems improve the submission of lab tests and the receipt of results. Logistic information systems can help forecast the need for medications and other commodities and reduce stockouts of antiretroviral drugs and other medications. Routine health information systems are used to compile this information for reports from facilities to the national level. Data use at all levels of the health system is necessary to monitor coverage of HIV interventions and progress toward targets. And finally, population-level surveys provide information on changes in behavior and HIV prevalence every few years; these data are needed to assess the impact of HIV programs over time. MEASURE Evaluation, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, prepared 13 briefs to document the strength of a country’s HIS as a source of reliable data for efforts to control the HIV epidemic.