Rapid and unpredictable developments in health policies, technologies, disease profiles, institutional environments, and their inter-connections have significant implications on how we design, develop, implement, and use health information systems (HIS) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Our current systems have heightened expectations but have proven largely incapable of meeting these new challenges. Nor have they been able to effectively leverage upon the new opportunities that are emerging, such as through the cloud, big data, the proliferation of mobile devices and the Internet of Things, and also the increasing array of new open source software solutions being made available through global development communities. What is required to try and address these challenges and opportunities? This book proposes the ‘Expanded PHI’ (public health informatics) perspective as a way forward, and through the various chapters first seeks to define it, and then apply it to analyse the following key problematics facing public health informatics in the domains of research, practice, and policy: use of information; integration of systems; leveraging cloud computing and big data; design and building of institutions that facilitate; managing complexity; evolving governance mechanisms and standards; responding to the new challenges thrown up by universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goals; and building synergies between health systems strengthening and health information strengthening efforts. In defining the scope of Expanded PHI, the field of public health informatics is first situated within an informatics context, and then within public health and finally within the context of changing global health policies. Drawing from these contextualizations, the design principles for Expanded PHI are elucidated, based primarily on a social systems perspective, where the health of populations is kept as the central purpose and a participatory and incremental nature of change as the primary strategy.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 Public Health Informatics: Positioning Within an Informatics Framework
- Chapter 2 Understanding Public Health Informatics in Context of Health in Low and Middle-Income Countries
- Chapter 3 The ‘Information-Use Problematic’ in Health Information Systems
- Chapter 4 The Challenge of Integration: (In)adequacy of Technical Solutions to Institutional Challenges
- Chapter 5 Decentralized Information Use: Are The Cloud and Big Data Supporting This?
- Chapter 6 Institutions as Barriers and Facilitators of Health Information Systems Reform
- Chapter 7 Complexity and Public Health Informatics in Low and Middle-Income Countries
- Chapter 8 Measuring Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage and Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals: The Informational Challenges
- Chapter 9 Health Information Systems Governance and Standards: The Challenges of Implementation
- Chapter 10 Strengthening Healthcare Systems and Health Information Systems: Building Synergies