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DHIS2 for Health

DHIS2 is most widely used as an integrated health information platform, facilitating holistic data management across programs to provide decision makers at all levels with the right data, at the right time, to make the right decisions

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    Overview: Supporting strong health systems with DHIS2

    DHIS2 is the world’s largest Health Management Information System (HMIS), used by Ministries of Health in more than 80 countries as a digital tool to manage routine health data from local to national scale. Many countries also use DHIS2 to create and maintain individual health records, including patient monitoring and follow-up, case-based disease surveillance, immunization registries, and more. Within DHIS2, data from all of these programs is collected into one platform — accessible at all levels of the health system — where it can be used for planning, monitoring and evaluation, budgeting, operational decision making, and patient follow up.

    Since 2017, the HISP Centre at the University of Oslo — which develops and supports DHIS2 — has been officially designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for innovation and implementation research on health system strengthening. Through this collaboration, we produce practical implementation products and tools as part of the DHIS2 Health Data Toolkit that support and promote country adoption of the WHO’s routine health information system standards for data analysis. In addition, we collaborate with other global health partners such as the UNICEF and US CDC on the design and implementation of features, configurations, and guidance to support a range of disease programs.

    On this page you can find high-level information about some of the applications of DHIS2 as an integrated health information platform, as well as links to additional resources.

    Disease Surveillance, Early Warning & Response

    DHIS2 supports a comprehensive suite of software features, implementation tools and guidance to help countries adopt WHO recommended strategies for integrated disease surveillance using DHIS2 as an electronic platform. The platform can be further extended and adapted for emergency response activities, such as responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing real-time emergency surveillance during outbreaks, natural disasters, and humanitarian emergencies, and monitoring the impact of emergencies on essential health services.

    Individual data: Person-centered monitoring, eRegistries, case surveillance & more

    Tracker is a flexible and customizable data model for entering, tracking, analyzing, and reporting individual-level data within DHIS2. Multiple Tracker programs can be added and maintained in a single DHIS2 instance, and because Tracker comes included as an application within the core DHIS2 platform, no additional software is required. Countries most commonly use Tracker to:

    • Enroll individuals into longitudinal and chronic programs (such as HIV and TB treatment, immunization registries, or eRegistries that include patient data across multiple programs), and improve retention by using Tracker to schedule visits, set up automated SMS reminders, track missed appointments, and more
    • Link individual persons with each other using relationships, including registering contacts of communicable disease cases, and enroll unique records in several health programs without duplicate data entry
    • Collect anonymous or one-off (non-longitudinal) individual-level data records, such as for case-based surveillance of notifiable and epidemic-prone diseases
    • Generate daily or weekly visit schedules (work plans) for your facility or community health workers

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    Logistics for health

    The broad adoption of DHIS2 by health care workers at facility level has enabled digitization of stock data to the last mile of service delivery. Facility stock reporting into DHIS2 provides visibility into the availability of essential medicines, allowing health planners to monitor stock levels, triangulate with routine service delivery data, and more effectively distribute and redistribute stock items to improve access. When used in conjunction with an upstream eLMIS, DHIS2 provides countries with end-to-end visibility of the entire national supply network.

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    Mortality & CRVS Strengthening

    Mortality surveillance is a critical intervention for helping Ministries of Health understand the leading causes of death among their populations and make strategic decisions about planning and resource allocation. DHIS2 helps countries collect and classify cause of death with tools aligned to the WHO’s Medical Certificate of the Cause of Death (MCCOD) and ICD-11. Yet, in regions such as Africa less than 10% of deaths are registered in national CRVS systems, hindering the availability of key vital statistics data. Through its interoperability features, DHIS2 supports the strengthening of national CRVS systems by allowing for birth and death notifications from health facilities. In turn, CRVS strengthening provides improved denominator data that is critical for meaningful analysis of health outcome indicators. Robust mortality data can also help identify the impacts of climate change and emergencies on health outcomes, with modules to support rapid mortality surveillance, integration of verbal autopsy data, and triangulation with deaths reported from facilities through vertical programs.

    Community Health

    Community health workers (CHWs) act as an extension of the health system to provide critical interventions such as health education, prevention and service delivery to the last mile. Integration of community health data with routine service delivery from health facilities is critical for providing decision makers a comprehensive picture of disease burden, mortality, and ultimately to measure achievements toward universal health coverage with a focus on the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach populations. The DHIS2 Android app is an offline tool that helps CHWs to plan daily activities, track services provided, conduct household surveys and more.

    Health Campaigns

    Campaign interventions supplement routine service delivery and play a key role in distributing life-saving commodities like bednets, eliminating neglected tropical diseases through mass drug administration, and increasing coverage of under-immunized communities and zero-dose children. The DHIS2 toolkit for health campaigns, developed with inputs from the Campaign Digitization Working Group, provides guidance on how to configure and use DHIS2 for real-time monitoring of campaign activities and triangulating campaign data with other routine data sources to improve targeting of health interventions.

    Interactive demo of DHIS2 for health

    Explore some of the features and functionalities of DHIS2 as an integrated platform for health program management in our interactive demo database.

    Explore the Demo

    Health Data Toolkit

    Through our collaboration with WHO, UNICEF, CDC and other global health partners, we produce implementation toolkits tailored to common public health use cases to accelerate country implementation and improve the quality of national systems. The DHIS2 health data toolkit is a collection of resources such as system design & configuration guides, software feature descriptions, tailored training materials, user guides, and reference metadata. You can browse our resources by health area on our DHIS2 Health Data Toolkit page or visit the implementation guidance for health.

    Where is DHIS2 used for health?

    DHIS2 is used for health programs at national scale around the world. Explore the map below to learn more about how countries are leveraging DHIS2 for health.

    Impact stories

    National Ministries of Health, regional organizations, and NGOs around the world are using DHIS2 to improve health program management to support better population health outcomes. Read a selection of recent stories below, or browse our DHIS2 health impact story collection.

    Developed in collaboration with global partners

    The DHIS2 Health team works together with WHO, US CDC, and UNICEF to ensure that the DHIS2 software platform meets the health program needs, and to develop standards and guidance based on global best practices. Our work in the health domain is also supported by a coalition of global health partners, including Norad, the Global Fund, Gavi, the Gates Foundation, and PEPFAR.