Uganda’s HRHIS is built on the iHRIS software, a suite of open source tools for managing and planning the health workforce developed and supported by IntraHealth International through several USAID-funded projects.
The HRHIS system is used by the country’s four professional health councils (the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, the Pharmacy Council, and the Allied Health Professionals’ Council) to maintain records on the country’s more than 46,000 qualified health workers. A customized version of iHRIS Manage, a human resources management system, is installed at the central MOH, 69 district health offices, 15 hospitals, the Uganda Virus Research Institute, and Nakasero Blood Bank. The MOH aggregates information and shares it with other national health information systems, such as those residing at the Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Education and Sports.
The professional health councils can now track the number of health workers by cadre, verify licenses and practice requirements, and provide information to ensure new hires are properly qualified. Council data are used to influence funding for preservice education, advocate for the recruitment of more health workers, and inform the country’s health workforce strategic plan. Likewise, health workforce managers produce a number of reports, including staff lists that are compared with approved staffing norms to identify vacancies or overstaffing and—with the country’s payroll system—to recognize and eliminate “ghost workers.” Health workforce managers can also generate detailed profiles of an individual health worker’s employment history and run reports to project staff losses due to retirement, for example.
Another key use of the HRHIS system is that the public can now easily verify registered and licensed health workers by logging into the computerized database of each health professional council. The public has already used this data to help track quack practitioners operating without a license.