It’s only natural to want to jump right into deploying a new human resource information system like iHRIS, once it’s decided that one is needed. Before beginning, though, take some time to assess the systems for managing health information that already exist.

iHRIS will be a sub-component of the health information system (HIS) or eHealth architecture that will need to share data with other information systems. During this stage, it’s important to identify all potential producers and users of HRH information. These will be sources of data for iHRIS. The assessment will also help you understand how HRH information will flow to other systems, as well as to users via reports.

Also look for gaps or needed resources to support iHRIS during the assessment phase. Some of the biggest challenges cited in implementing iHRIS are infrastructure needs, such as reliable electrical power, Internet connectivity, production and testing servers, and a place to store database backups. Training of everyone who will use iHRIS, both to enter data and analyze HR information, is also often overlooked. These needs must be factored into the total cost of the implementation.

Active participation of senior leadership is often cited as the most important factor in a successful implementation. At this stage, it is most valuable to identify “early adopters,” who can help build consensus by showing enthusiasm for the HRIS. With these stakeholders, begin to identify the policy and management questions that need to be answered by the HRIS.  For example, do you need a system to help determine the number of students graduating from nursing schools so you may predict your available health workforce?  Or do you need to know who is retiring in five years so you can determine if training should be scaled up?  This is also a good time to build your business case for iHRIS, which presents the problems to be solved and the benefits of using iHRIS to stakeholders.

Objectives and Deliverables

Project Management

Understand issues involved in planning an information systems project and developing a health information system.

Planning an Information Systems Project: A Toolkit for Public Health Managers (PATH, 2013)

Developing Health Management Information Systems: A Practical Guide for Developing Countries (World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific, 2004)

Present the problems to be solved and the benefits of using iHRIS to stakeholders. Get consensus from the leaders on the outcomes they expect from the implementation.

Presentation: Benefits of iHRIS

Software & Systems

Conduct an assessment survey of existing HRH information systems, processes, data collection forms, and standards. Assess existing infrastructure available to support the system and document any gaps.

WHO Country Assessment Tool on the Uses and Sources of HRH Data (World Health Organization, 2012)

Worksheet: HRIS Assessment Questionnaire

Data Sharing & Interoperability

Conduct an assessment survey of existing HIS. Review the country’s eHealth strategy, if there is one, and document any policies that need to be followed.

Assessing the National Health Information System: An Assessment Tool (Health Metrics Network, WHO, 2008)

Worksheet: HIS Assessment Survey

Data Quality & Standards

Understand the sources of HRH data and communicate the value of health workforce information.

Tipsheet: Sources of HRH Data

Training & Support

Assess resources available to support trainings and document any gaps. Identify potential training sites.

Worksheet: Training Resources Assessment


Document the assessment results in a report for stakeholders. Based on the results, diagram the links between producers and users of HRH information to determine how data move through the systems and to whom it will be reported. Identify gaps in supporting ICT infrastructure.

Example: HRIS Assessment Report

Key questions to answer before continuing:

  • Is an HRIS appropriate for this environment?
  • Is iHRIS the best software to fulfill the need?
  • Do you have leadership support, infrastructure, and funding in place?

Go to Stage 1: Plan.