The ‘Information-Use Problematic’ in Health Information Systems

Sundeep Sahay, T Sundararaman and Jørn Braa

in Public Health Informatics

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9780198758778
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191818660 | DOI:
The ‘Information-Use Problematic’ in Health Information Systems

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It is well understood that use of information is essential not only for justifying the investments made in building information systems, but they are also essential for improving the quality and equity of healthcare delivery. The paradox is that there is a data overload that impedes relevant information use, and to solve this more IT systems are deployed, thus creating more data, which further confounds the information use problem. One reason for this is that health information systems in LMICs are typically not conceived as built for users at different levels with varying needs, but primarily to satisfy the monitoring and control needs of central apex authorities and funding agencies. While in recent years, tremendous improvements have been made in LMICs, there still tends to exist a weak understanding and use of indicators, poor data quality that is all too readily and mistakenly attributed to non-truthful reporting when there are many other remediable factors at work. The Expanded PHI approach seeks to address these issues. It posits that meanings can be best made only through ‘conversations over data’, and user friendly systems requires ‘communities of practice’ to build and sustain.

Chapter.  10481 words. 

Subjects: Public Health

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