TechNet-21 - Forum

This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.
  1. Moderator
  2. Immunization information systems & coverage monitoring
  3. Wednesday, 20 July 2011
by David Lubinski, PATH; Wendy Bomett-Dodie, USAID | Deliver; and Chipopa Kazuma, Medical Stores Limited, Zambia In February 2011, Zambia’s Ministry of Health invited partners involved in supply chain management to help them develop a shared vision, roadmap, and user requirements for a logistics management information system (LMIS) in the country. Doing so has made Zambia the first country to modify the global Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology (CRDM) to develop a country-specific set of requirements. [Click photo to enlarge] While the need for user input in developing information systems may be obvious, it is very rarely done in practice, particularly when users are spread across many different domains and have differing needs for information. In 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation funded PATH and the Public Health Informatics Institute to develop a framework that countries could use to identify common functional requirements for information systems in any domain of a health system. The CRDM became this framework. It was validated through the creation of a set of global common requirements for supply chains and logistics management information systems based on input from four countries. Tailoring common requirements to country-specific scenarios This year, Zambia was able to take the global common requirements and adapt them to their own national vision for a computerized LMIS system. Doing so has saved an immense amount of time and resources allowing the country to modify an existing product rather than create a new one from scratch. Zambia will also contribute to the further development of the global CRDM. Currently, the global requirements address only 6 of the 11 processes that are typically found in supply chain systems: requisition, receiving, storage, dispatch, transport, and dispense/usage. The Zambian team recognized that it needed to include two additional processes in its LMIS and has, therefore, determined requirements for forecasting and purchasing to their national system. Because these processes were not included in the original CRDM for logistics, Zambia’s requirements will now serve as the first version of the global standard for these two processes. Flexible and expandable information systems At present, Zambia’s LMIS system is being designed for all health commodities except vaccines. Although vaccine experts contributed significantly to the global CRDM for logistics, Zambia’s priority is to develop an LMIS for essential medicines, laboratory supplies, and medical supplies. Once the system is functioning effectively, then vaccines may be added at a later date. This flexibility is one of the advantages of the CRDM: it is robust enough to work for all health commodities, eliminates the need for multiple vertical systems, and can be expanded at a pace that meets the needs of each country. Beyond LMIS Now that Zambia is familiar with the CRDM, it can apply the methodology in other domains. Part of the value of completing the supply chain domain first is that the core technical group can easily see where the LMIS might interact or exchange data with other information systems like patient health records. If this group continues to apply the methodology, they will continue to fill out their own management information strategy and understand the linkages between domains. Over time as CRDM is applied in each domain of the health system in Zambia, a national road map can be developed for a complete health management information system leading to a user-designed system that is comprehensive, scalable, and sustainable. We envision that such a system will enable health workers to simply deliver the services to patients and record what they did. From there, data is connected to the entire health system, not just logistics, and the system will know how to process the information and set in motion the correct procedures for action and decision-making. For now, Zambia’s core technical group is ready to take its common requirements from theory to practice and will begin seeking software solutions and/or developers to create the system they need. “The CRDM process has helped us envision a holistic information system, gather inputs from the right people, and move forward into system development with confidence,” said Dr. G. Syakantu, Director-Clinical Care and Diagnostics Services. To learn more about Zambia’s process, please email [email=dlubinski@path.org]David Lubinski[/email] We encourage your questions or comments. Please click reply at the bottom of the page.


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