Developing HRIS Data Coding Schemes

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about the creation of standardized data coding schemes, particularly for position codes in an HRIS.  Coding schemes ensure that data are organized in a meaningful way in the system, which helps to prevent data entry errors and improve the usability of the data for analysis down the line.  Coding schemes are particularly important in ensuring that data from two different sources— different healthcare facilities, different districts, even different countries—can be compared with one another.

International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO) codes are the starting point for position code development in HR systems for many governments.   These codes were developed by the International Labor Organization and have undergone revisions over the years.  The World Health Organization has developed position lists, as has the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the USA and the National Health Service in the UK.