iHRIS Train: A New Tool for Health Worker Training
Health workforce managers have a new tool they can count on to better know and manage their health workforce. iHRIS Train, which manages data on the education of health professionals—both before entering the profession and while in service—is the latest application in the growing iHRIS lineup of workforce management software.
iHRIS Train sheds light on a critical area of the health workforce picture. This tool collects and reports data on the number of health professionals being trained in necessary skills and important cadres. Used together, iHRIS Train, iHRIS Manage, and iHRIS Qualify offer a complete health workforce solution.
Benefits for iHRIS Train Users
iHRIS Train was developed for government ministries to use to track health worker trainings nationally. The software can be adapted for other uses as well. Here are some ways government, training institutions, and other organizations can put iHRIS Train to work:
- Governments and facilities can monitor the pipeline of upcoming graduates entering the health workforce. Based on this information, they can address health worker shortages and replenish workers who are exiting through retirement or attrition.
- iHRIS Train is also suitable for tracking and assessing the in-service training experience of individual health workers. The system helps identify skills that workers may need to learn to address new healthcare issues.
- iHRIS Train helps professional councils track approved credit hours under continuous professional development (CPD) or continuing medical education (CME) for licensure renewal.
- Training institutions can install iHRIS Train to track progress on curriculum implementation and student performance, as well as collect information on faculty and tutors.
- The system facilitates coordination among in-service training partners and employers to reduce duplication of trainings and overtraining of individuals. This in turn improves equity among health workers.
One Big Step for Local iHRIS Innovators
The introduction of iHRIS Train marks a significant milestone in realizing two core iHRIS principles: local ownership of health solutions and national innovation. iHRIS Train was the first of the iHRIS applications to be developed in the country where it will be used.
In response to a need identified by the Uganda Ministry of Health to manage professional development for the health workforce, Nobert Mijumbi and Ismail Wadembere of IntraHealth’s Uganda Capacity Program developed the new software by adapting the core iHRIS code. As members of the iHRIS Global Support Community, the Uganda developers shared their work with other iHRIS developers worldwide for feedback.
After receiving input from the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Uganda Nurses and Medical Board, Mijumbi and Wadembere expanded the initial plans for the software to include information on preservice education and examination results. They also ensured that iHRIS Train could easily share training data with existing information systems.
The Ministry of Education and Sports in Uganda began using iHRIS Train in June 2013. To get the software up and running quickly, 42 ministry staff were trained to manage and update the system, and 60 senior managers learned how to produce their own reports for planning and decision-making. Partner organizations implementing trainings in Uganda have also learned the system and have agreed to use iHRIS Train to manage their training programs.
An iHRIS Train for Every Nation
Although it was developed based on needs in Uganda, iHRIS Train can be customized for any country and context.
In Kenya, Naomi Waithira, David Juma, and Martin Kinyua of IntraHealth’s FUNZOKenya project have already adapted Uganda's code to manage in-service training courses for the Ministry of Health. iHRIS Train is also being customized in Nigeria by Agbonkhese Oaiya of the IntraHealth-led CapacityPlus Project to track trainings provided by PEPFAR implementing agencies.
As with all of the iHRIS software, iHRIS Train is offered free of charge to all iHRIS implementers around the world under an open source license.