I-TECH's Informatics Team lies within the Health Systems Strengthening division. The team, directed by Dr. Bill Lober, has significant capacity in the rapidly expanding field of health informatics for resource-limited clinical settings. I-TECH develops and deploys systems and provides technical assistance and training on electronic medical records, laboratory information management, disease surveillance, national eHealth architecture design, national standards for data transfer and system interoperability, and data use for improved clinical service delivery.
Since 2005, I-TECH has led the development and nationwide implementation of the iSanté HIV electronic medical record for Haiti, which is now used at over 60 sites in the country and captures data on more than 50,000 patients. iSanté is expanding to capture women’s health and primary care data, and I-TECH is collaborating with Partners in Health, MSPP and CDC on the use of mobile devices to interact with patient records, and on the development of national data standards to support system interoperability. I-TECH is working with the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Haiti (LNSP) to adapt the OpenELIS open-source laboratory information system for use at LNSP and clinical laboratories around the country.
In Cote d’Ivoire, I-TECH is building on experience in Haiti to develop additional adapted versions of OpenELIS for use at three central reference laboratories: the National Public Health Laboratory; the Pasteur Institute (IPCI), acting as the national reference laboratory for TB; and Retro-CI, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory in Abidjan. I-TECH is also providing technical assistance to formulate national standards that address indicators, data sources, data management, data quality, confidentiality, dissemination and use. Future system design work to support clinical laboratory applications of OpenELIS would be based upon these national standards and appropriately serve the national reporting infrastructure.
In 2008, I-TECH conducted an evaluation of Mozambique’s system for aggregating and reporting facility-based disease statistics to the district, provincial and national levels. Following the evaluation, I-TECH provided a set of recommendations that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is acting on to revise the current system within a forward-looking framework for national health information architecture.
I-TECH is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National AIDS/STD Control Programme (NASCOP) in Kenya to improve the use of health management information systems (HMIS) for patient management, clinical quality improvement, and reporting. I-TECH provides technical assistance to support the definition of Kenya’s eHealth architecture and data standards, and to establish interoperable facility-level systems, including electronic medical record, lab, and pharmacy systems which meet national HIV data and reporting standards. In addition, I-TECH is building the capacity local HMIS resource groups and individuals to implement, manage, and support health information technology applications.
In Vietnam, I-TECH has initiated collaboration with local and international partners on the development and implementation of a national eHealth architecture according to locally determined standards. I-TECH supports the identification and engagement of Vietnam-based technical partners as well as national and organizational stakeholders who are critical to the development of a national eHealth architectural vision, and the identification of existing health information systems to be defined as components of the national eHealth architecture. Key information interactions to support the national eHealth architecture will be identified; profiles to describe those interactions will be written; and specific standards required to implement those profiles will be identified. I-TECH will provide technical assistance to apply information interaction profiles to specific systems to demonstrate feasibility and serve as the basis for reference implementations.
I-TECH recently evaluated the existing medical record and laboratory information systems in place at Namibia Ministry of Defense clinics and laboratories, and will support the development and implementation of strengthened, interoperable electronic systems to better serve patient care delivery and reporting needs according to the national information architecture.