This Document was commissioned by Optimize: Immunization Systems and technologies for tomorrow, a collaboration between the world health organization and path.
This toolkit can help public health managers to plan for the implementation of information and communications technology (ICT) in health information systems. It draws on lessons learned during project Optimize, a five-year partnership between the World Health Organization and PATH to help optimize the vaccine supply chain.
The toolkit focuses on the planning phase of an information systems project.
- It proposes an eight-step process that can help decision-makers:
- Choose the solution that best fits their needs and context.
- Obtain the external help and expertise they need.
- Develop, scale, and then sustain their chosen solution.
This document describes each step and includes planning tools to help you complete them. It is not an exhaustive technical guide to implementing information systems, however, and it does not address the strategic questions around a wider electronic health vision. All health information systems use a variety of technologies that can include paper-based tools as well as ICT. In many cases, introducing new information technology presents the best opportunity to improve these systems. However, doing so also poses considerable challenges. This toolkit can help managers to meet these challenges by carefully planning their use of ICT.
Three ICT project phases
- Pilot: The team develops or selects the right solution, based on program needs and priorities. The system is then tested in a small-scale pilot to measure outcomes, impacts, and costs and to identify potential improvements.
- Scale: The system is deployed to its intended reach— for example, in all districts in the country, going from 50 to 2,000 users.
- Sustain: To provide continued value, the system needs to be maintained and sustained. After five to ten years, it may need to be improved or even replaced, starting again with the first phase.