Online Program

Collaborating with global level partners to computerize health logistics management information systems in Tanzania and Zambia through open source technology

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Nuran Idris, Management Information Systems, John Snow Inc., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Alpha Nsaghurwe, Management Information Systems, John Snow Inc., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Wendy Bomett, Management Information Systems, John Snow Inc., Lusaka, Zambia
Noela Kisoka, Systems Strengthening, John Snow Inc., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: Vital health system building block is to build capability to provide accurate logistics data for health commodities across all levels of supply chain. In Tanzania and Zambia, development partners have worked closely with Ministries of Health to design and implement manually operated logistics systems to manage information, and commodity flow. Despite its effectiveness, manually operated logistics systems have their drawbacks including inability to analyze logistics information. Purpose: Global partners have increasingly required more visibility on Ministries of Health consumption trends of health commodities. In that view, the Ministries established the need to enhance impromptu logistics visibility into all levels of the supply chain. Concurrently, OpenLMIS, a global consortium of multiple donors and implementing partners, had a vision to create a shared repository of free open-source logistics resources for the global health community. Methods: As part of the system development life cycle methodology, John Snow Inc. (JSI) developed specific robust and detailed country requirements in Tanzania and Zambia. The collaborative requirements development methodology, which had a set of common health information system requirements from four countries was used to determine the country specific requirements. Results: Upon finalizations of development, the eLMIS will be rolled out in Tanzania and Zambia simultaneous with distribution of the code base and accompanying documentation to the global community seeking to implement similar systems. Conclusion: - In resource limited settings, creation of a robust system is key to accommodating the growing and expanding nature of health care service delivery - Ownership of host governments in every step of the system development is crucial - For successful collaboration, need to ensure similar cross cutting objectives and vision amongst all participating partners and detailed governance, communication and funding plans clearly spelled out - When numerous forms of automation exist, thinking that involves intercommunication of existing systems is integral

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Communication and informatics
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Assess complexities involved in developing an open source health logistics system, that will initially be deployed in Tanzania and Zambia, and later made available to the global health community. Describe the process involved in automating manually operated health logistics systems incorporating existing automated electronic data and supporting new proposed technology to assist in data collection, dissemination and processing; order tracking, and supportive supervision. Analyze the lessons learned that result from engagement in collaborative ventures with multiple stakeholders from various organizations.

Keyword(s): Health Information Systems, Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a crucial member of the eLMIS project team.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.