Information systems and community diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries

Vipat Kuruchittham, Fred Binka and Chitr Sitthi-Amorn

in Oxford Textbook of Public Health

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780199218707
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199609673 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Information systems and community diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries

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Effective information systems are the essence of public health planning to improve health status of communities by capturing key information and trends on health problems and their determinants. A frequently used medium to gather health information from several sources (e.g. vital registration and censuses, routine reporting, and surveillance) is information technology, which offers a better and faster mode for data collection, processing, ana lyses, retrieval, and dissemination. Investing in technology by no means guarantees the desired health outcomes. To successfully implement information systems, public health leaders must understand technology and commit to improve community health status, and involve those who provide health services early in the development of information systems. Effective information systems enhance the ability of public health policy-makers and healthcare providers to employ evidence-based interventions and also enhance their roles in setting priorities and solving problems of communities. Although information systems offer great benefits in improving health, developing and implementing the systems is costly and risky and therefore low- and middle-income countries must prudently consider which investments in technology will meet their needs and means.

Chapter.  12537 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Public Health

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