Understanding and valuing the broader health system benefits of Uganda's national Human Resources for Health Information System investment

Hum Resour Health. 2015 Aug 31;13:49. doi: 10.1186/s12960-015-0036-0.


Background: To address the need for timely and comprehensive human resources for health (HRH) information, governments and organizations have been actively investing in electronic health information interventions, including in low-resource settings. The economics of human resources information systems (HRISs) in low-resource settings are not well understood, however, and warrant investigation and validation.

Case description: This case study describes Uganda's Human Resources for Health Information System (HRHIS), implemented with support from the US Agency for International Development, and documents perceptions of its impact on the health labour market against the backdrop of the costs of implementation. Through interviews with end users and implementers in six different settings, we document pre-implementation data challenges and consider how the HRHIS has been perceived to affect human resources decision-making and the healthcare employment environment.

Discussion and evaluation: This multisite case study documented a range of perceived benefits of Uganda's HRHIS through interviews with end users that sought to capture the baseline (or pre-implementation) state of affairs, the perceived impact of the HRHIS and the monetary value associated with each benefit. In general, the system appears to be strengthening both demand for health workers (through improved awareness of staffing patterns) and supply (by improving licensing, recruitment and competency of the health workforce). This heightened ability to identify high-value employees makes the health sector more competitive for high-quality workers, and this elevation of the health workforce also has broader implications for health system performance and population health.

Conclusions: Overall, it is clear that HRHIS end users in Uganda perceived the system to have significantly improved day-to-day operations as well as longer term institutional mandates. A more efficient and responsive approach to HRH allows the health sector to recruit the best candidates, train employees in needed skills and deploy trained personnel to facilities where there is real demand. This cascade of benefits can extend the impact and rewards of working in the health sector, which elevates the health system as a whole.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / organization & administration*
  • Health Personnel / standards
  • Health Workforce / economics
  • Health Workforce / organization & administration*
  • Health Workforce / standards
  • Humans
  • Information Systems / economics
  • Information Systems / organization & administration*
  • Inservice Training
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Licensure
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling
  • Uganda